Quasi-decadal variations in solar irradiance – termed the 11-year solar cycle (SC) – have been linked to variations in a variety of atmospheric circulation features, including the polar vortex, the Brewer–Dobson circulation, and the quasi-biennial oscillation. These features share an underlying commonality: they are all rooted in wave–mean flow interaction. The purpose of this paper is to provide a historical overview of the connection between the SC and wave–mean flow interaction and to propose a more complete theoretical framework for solar modulated wave–mean flow interaction that includes both zonal-mean and zonally asymmetric ozone as intermediaries for communicating variations in solar spectral irradiance to the climate system. We solve a quasi-geostrophic model using the WKB formalism to highlight the physics connecting the SC to planetary wave-drag. Numerical results show the importance of the zonally asymmetric ozone field in mediating the effects of solar variability to the wave-driven circulation in the middle atmosphere.
- Solar Irradiance,
- 11-year Solar Cycle,
- Stratospheric Ozone,
- Wave–mean Flow Interaction
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/eugene_cordero/7/