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Geophysical Monograph Series

 

Keywords

  • stratosphere
  • vortex
  • dynamics
  • chemistry
  • transport
  • Rossbywaves
  • Stratosphere
  • Whirlwinds
  • Dynamic meteorology

Index Terms

  • 3334 Atmospheric Processes: Middle atmosphere dynamics
  • 3362 Atmospheric Processes: Stratosphere/troposphere interactions

Article

GEOPHYSICAL MONOGRAPH SERIES, VOL. 190, PP. 43-57, 2010

Stratospheric polar vortices

Darryn W. Waugh

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA


Lorenzo M. Polvani

Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics and Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA


The intense cyclonic vortices that form over the winter pole are one of the most prominent features of the stratospheric circulation. The structure and dynamics of these “polar vortices” play a dominant role in the winter and spring stratospheric circulation and are key to determining distribution of trace gases, in particular ozone, and the couplings between the stratosphere and troposphere. In this chapter, we review the observed structure, dynamical theories, and modeling of these polar vortices. We consider both the zonal mean and three-dimensional potential vorticity perspective and examine the occurrence of extreme events and long-term trends.

Citation: Waugh, D. W., and L. M. Polvani (2010), Stratospheric polar vortices, in The Stratosphere: Dynamics, Transport, and Chemistry, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 190, edited by L. M. Polvani, A. H. Sobel, and D. W. Waugh, pp. 43–57, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2009GM000887.

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