The signature of the stratospheric Brewer-Dobson circulation in tropospheric clouds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The signature of the stratospheric Brewer‒Dobson circulation (BDC) in tropospheric cloudiness is investigated in CloudSat and CALIPSO data from June 2006 through April 2011. During the Northern Hemisphere winter, periods of enhanced stratospheric wave driving are associated with increased cloud incidence in the tropical tropopause transition layer (TTL) juxtaposed against decreased cloud incidence in the Arctic troposphere. The results are consistent with the physical linkages between (1) the BDC and near‒tropopause temperature and (2) near‒tropopause temperature and upper tropospheric cloud incidence. The key finding of the work is that changes in the stratospheric circulation not only influence cloud amounts in the troposphere but also that they do so in a coupled manner that links climate variability in the Arctic and upper tropical troposphere. The results provide a pathway through which stratospheric processes influence tropospheric climate that is in addition to stratosphere/troposphere dynamical coupling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3486-3494
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number9
Early online date21 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2013

Cite this