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Sunspots, the QBO and the stratosphere in the North Polar Region – 20 years later

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We have shown in earlier studies the size of the changes in the lower stratosphere which can be attributed to the 11-year sunspot cycle (SSC). We showed further that in order to detect the solar signal it is necessary to group the data according to the phase of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO). Although this is valid throughout the year it was always obvious that the effect of the SSC and the QBO on the stratosphere was largest during the northern winters (January/February). Here we extend our first study (LABITZKE, 1987) by using additional data. Instead of 30 years of data, we now have 65 years. Results for the entire data set fully confirm the early findings and suggest a significant effect of the SSC on the strength of the stratospheric polar vortex and the mean meridional circulation.

German
In früheren Arbeiten haben wir gezeigt, wie groß der Einfluss des 11-jährigen Sonnenfleckenzyklus auf die untere Stratosphäre ist. Um diesen Einfluss zu isolieren, müssen die Daten nach der Phase der Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO) sortiert werden. Dies ist während des ganzen Jahres notwendig, aber der Einfluss von QBO und 11-jährigem Sonnenfleckenzyklus ist am stärksten während des Nordwinters (Januar–Februar). Für unsere erste Veröffentlichung (LABITZKE, 1987) standen nur Daten von 30 Jahren zur Verfügung. Aber inzwischen können wir Ergebnisse zeigen, die auf 65 Jahren basieren und die unsere frühen Arbeiten bestätigen: Der 11-jährige Sonnenfleckenzyklus hat einen signifikanten Einfluss auf die Stärke des stratosphärischen Polarwirbels und auf die mittlere Meridionalzirkulation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2006

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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