Mechanisms of ozone enhancement during stratospheric intrusion coupled with convection over upper troposphere equatorial Africa

Gizaw Mengistu Tsidu, Kassahun Ture

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6 Citations (Scopus)


The possible cause and sources of enhanced ozone at upper tropospheric equatorial Africa, observed by cruise Measurements of OZone by Airbus In Service Aircraft (MOZAIC) during the Northern Hemisphere winter in 1996 and 1997 on flight routes from Johannesburg to Vienna, are investigated. Two enhanced ozone events over upper tropospheric equatorial Africa are identified from MOZAIC observations on April 6, 1996 and March 27, 1997. High resolution ECMWF reanalysis GOME ozone has exhibited enhancement as well during these periods suggesting that the two events are not isolated small scale events but part of a larger scale process. As a result, the source and mechanisms of ozone increase over the region are further analysed using reanalysis data from ECMWF, outgoing long wave radiation (OLR) from NOAA and Meteosat images from NASA, International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project. Equivalent latitude computed from potential vorticity has shown that massive mid- and high-latitude stratospheric ozone rich airmass is funnelled into lower latitude troposphere through troughs extending from large amplitude planetary waves towards equator. The Space-time Fourier decomposition of meridionally averaged zonal wind has revealed that these planetary wave activities are linked to waves with zonal wavenumber 1-2, which prevail during Northern Hemisphere winter. Additional analysis to understand the mechanisms of ozone enhancement was made using Multitaper Method-Singular Value Decomposition (MTM-SVD) spectral approach. The analysis confirms that ozone enhancement over the region is dependent on the relative position of positive PV and direction of wind anomalies. The high relative humidity measured simultaneously with ozone onboard MOZAIC, Meteosat imageries and circulation during the events have shown presence of deep convection. The coherent variation of OLR and ozone found over 8-day temporal cycle determined from MTM-SVD has indicated existence of OLR negative forcing in the upper troposphere and positive forcing in the lower stratosphere. These results show coupling of PV intrusion and deep convection over continental equatorial Africa in the same manner as the climatologically preferred intrusion over mid-ocean in eastern pacific. Moreover, the results enrich previous understanding with purely observational high resolution MOZAIC and ERA-Interim datasets, and statistical method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-424
Number of pages15
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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