Stratospheric warmings - the quasi-biennal oscillation - ozone hole in the Antarctic but not the Arctic - correlations between the solar cycle, polar temperatures, and an equatorial oscillation
This report is a tutorial and overview over some of the complex dynamic phenomena in the polar and equatorial stratosphere, and the unexpected correlation that exists between these and the solar cycle. Sudden stratospheric warmings (stratwarms) occur in the polar stratosphere in winter, but not equally distributed between the two hemispheres. As a result, the ozone hole in the springtime polar stratosphere is much more severe in the Southern Hemisphere than in the Northern Hemisphere. The Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) is a dynamic phenomenon of the equatorial stratosphere. Through processes not fully understood, the phase of the QBO (easterly or westerly) influences the onset of stratwarms. In addition, a correlation between the stratospheric winter temperature over the poles and the solar cycle has been found, but only if the datapoints are ordered by the phase of the QBO. - The best explanations and figures from four recent textbooks are selected, and abstracts of most relevant publications from the six last years are collected, with the most relevant portions for these subjects highlighted. - In addition to being basic science, the understanding of these phenomena is important in the context of the ozone hole, the greenhouse effect, as well as anthropogenic and natural climate change.