Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 11 items for

  • Author or Editor: Johannes Wagner x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Daniel Leukauf, Alexander Gohm, Mathias W. Rotach, and Johannes S. Wagner

Abstract

The breakup of a nocturnal temperature inversion during daytime is studied in an idealized valley by means of high-resolution numerical simulations. Vertical fluxes of heat and mass are strongly reduced as long as an inversion is present; hence it is important to understand the mechanisms leading to its removal. In this study breakup times are determined as a function of the radiative forcing. Further, the effect of the nocturnal inversion on the vertical exchange of heat and mass is quantified. The Weather Research and Forecasting Model is applied to an idealized quasi-two-dimensional valley. The net shortwave radiation is specified by a sine function with amplitudes between 150 and 850 W m−2 during daytime and at zero during the night. The valley inversion is eroded within 5 h for the strongest forcing. A minimal amplitude of 450 W m−2 is required to reach the breakup, in which case the inversion is removed after 11 h. Depending on the forcing amplitude, between 10% and 57% of the energy provided by the surface sensible heat flux is exported out of the valley during the whole day. The ratio of exported energy to provided energy is approximately 1.6 times as large after the inversion is removed as before. More than 5 times the valley air mass is turned over in 12 h for the strongest forcing, whereas the mass is turned over only 1.3 times for 400 W m−2.

Open access
Johannes S. Wagner, Alexander Gohm, and Mathias W. Rotach

Abstract

The role of horizontal model grid resolution on the development of the daytime boundary layer over mountainous terrain is studied. A simple idealized valley topography with a cross-valley width of 20 km, a valley depth of 1.5 km, and a constant surface heat flux forcing is used to generate upslope flows in a warming valley boundary layer. The goal of this study is to investigate differences in the boundary layer structure of the valley when its topography is either fully resolved, smoothed, or not resolved by the numerical model. This is done by performing both large-eddy (LES) and kilometer-scale simulations with horizontal mesh sizes of 50, 1000, 2000, 4000, 5000, and 10 000 m. In LES mode a valley inversion layer develops, which separates two vertically stacked circulation cells in an upper and lower boundary layer. These structures weaken with decreasing horizontal model grid resolution and change to a convective boundary layer over an elevated plain when the valley is no longer resolved. Mean profiles of the LES run, which are obtained by horizontal averaging over the valley show a three-layer thermal structure and a secondary heat flux maximum at ridge height. Strong smoothing of the valley topography prevents the development of a valley inversion layer with stacked circulation cells and leads to higher valley temperatures due to smaller valley volumes. Additional LES and “1 km” runs over corresponding smoothed valleys reveal that differences occur mainly because of unresolved topography and not because of unresolved turbulence processes. Furthermore, the deactivation of horizontal diffusion improved simulations with 1- and 2-km horizontal resolution.

Full access
Benjamin Witschas, Stephan Rahm, Andreas Dörnbrack, Johannes Wagner, and Markus Rapp

Abstract

Airborne coherent Doppler wind lidar measurements, acquired during the Gravity Wave Life-Cycle (GW-LCYCLE) I field campaign performed from 2 to 14 December 2013 in Kiruna, Sweden, are used to investigate internal gravity waves (GWs) induced by flow across the Scandinavian Mountains. Vertical wind speed is derived from lidar measurements with a mean bias of less than 0.05 m s−1 and a standard deviation of 0.2 m s−1 by correcting horizontal wind projections onto the line-of-sight direction by means of ECMWF wind data. The horizontal wind speed and direction are retrieved from lidar measurements by applying a velocity–azimuth display scan and a spectral accumulation technique, leading to a horizontal resolution of about 9 km along the flight track and a vertical resolution of 100 m, respectively. Both vertical and horizontal wind measurements are valuable for characterizing GW properties as demonstrated by means of a flight performed on 13 December 2013 acquired during weather conditions favorable for orographic GW excitation. Wavelet power spectra of the vertical wind speed indicate that the horizontal GW wavelengths lay mainly between 10 and 30 km and that the GW amplitude above the mountain ridge decreases with increasing altitude. Additionally, the perturbations of the horizontal wind speed are analyzed, showing horizontal wavelengths in the excitation region of 100–125 km with upwind-tilted wave fronts. By means of elevation power spectra, it is revealed that vertical wind power spectra are dominated by the short-wave elevation part, whereas horizontal wind perturbations are dominated by the long-wave part.

Full access
Mathias W. Rotach, Georg Wohlfahrt, Armin Hansel, Matthias Reif, Johannes Wagner, and Alexander Gohm

Among the processes contributing to the global CO2 budget, net uptake by the land surface bears the largest uncertainty. Therefore, the land sink is often estimated as the residual from the other terms that are known with greater certainty. On average over the last decades, the difference between modeled land surface uptake and this residual is negative, thus suggesting that the different modeling approaches miss an important part in land–atmosphere exchange. Based on experience with atmospheric modeling at high resolution, it is argued that this discrepancy is likely due to missed mesoscale (thermally or dynamically forced) circulations in complex terrain. Noting that more than 50% of the land surface qualifies as complex terrain, the contribution of mesoscale circulations is hypothesized to alleviate at least partly the uncertainty in the modeled land surface uptake. While atmospheric models at coarse resolution (e.g., for numerical weather prediction; also climate simulations) use a parameterization to account for momentum exchange due to subgrid-scale topography, no such additional exchange is presently taken into account for energy or mass. It is thus suggested that a corresponding parameterization should be developed in order to reduce the uncertainties in the global carbon budget.

Full access
Benedikt Ehard, Peggy Achtert, Andreas Dörnbrack, Sonja Gisinger, Jörg Gumbel, Mikhail Khaplanov, Markus Rapp, and Johannes Wagner

Abstract

The paper presents a feasible method to complement ground-based middle atmospheric Rayleigh lidar temperature observations with numerical simulations in the lower stratosphere and troposphere to study gravity waves. Validated mesoscale numerical simulations are utilized to complement the temperature below 30-km altitude. For this purpose, high-temporal-resolution output of the numerical results was interpolated on the position of the lidar in the lee of the Scandinavian mountain range. Two wintertime cases of orographically induced gravity waves are analyzed. Wave parameters are derived using a wavelet analysis of the combined dataset throughout the entire altitude range from the troposphere to the mesosphere. Although similar in the tropospheric forcings, both cases differ in vertical propagation. The combined dataset reveals stratospheric wave breaking for one case, whereas the mountain waves in the other case could propagate up to about 40-km altitude. The lidar observations reveal an interaction of the vertically propagating gravity waves with the stratopause, leading to a stratopause descent in both cases.

Full access
Tanja C. Portele, Andreas Dörnbrack, Johannes S. Wagner, Sonja Gisinger, Benedikt Ehard, Pierre-Dominique Pautet, and Markus Rapp

Abstract

The impact of transient tropospheric forcing on the deep vertical mountain-wave propagation is investigated by a unique combination of in situ and remote sensing observations and numerical modeling. The temporal evolution of the upstream low-level wind follows approximately a shape and was controlled by a migrating trough and connected fronts. Our case study reveals the importance of the time-varying propagation conditions in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS). Upper-tropospheric stability, the wind profile, and the tropopause strength affected the observed and simulated wave response in the UTLS. Leg-integrated along-track momentum fluxes () and amplitudes of vertical displacements of air parcels in the UTLS reached up to 130 kN m−1 and 1500 m, respectively. Their maxima were phase shifted to the maximum low-level forcing by ≈8 h. Small-scale waves ( km) were continuously forced, and their flux values depended on wave attenuation by breaking and reflection in the UTLS region. Only maximum flow over the envelope of the mountain range favored the excitation of longer waves that propagated deeply into the mesosphere. Their long propagation time caused a retarded enhancement of observed mesospheric gravity wave activity about 12–15 h after their observation in the UTLS. For the UTLS, we further compared observed and simulated with fluxes of 2D quasi-steady runs. UTLS momentum fluxes seem to be reproducible by individual quasi-steady 2D runs, except for the flux enhancement during the early decelerating forcing phase.

Full access
Thomas Karl, Alexander Gohm, Mathias W. Rotach, Helen C. Ward, Martin Graus, Alexander Cede, Georg Wohlfahrt, Albin Hammerle, Maren Haid, Martin Tiefengraber, Christian Lamprecht, Johannes Vergeiner, Axel Kreuter, Jochen Wagner, and Michael Staudinger
Full access
Thomas Karl, Alexander Gohm, Mathias W. Rotach, Helen C. Ward, Martin Graus, Alexander Cede, Georg Wohlfahrt, Albin Hammerle, Maren Haid, Martin Tiefengraber, Christian Lamprecht, Johannes Vergeiner, Axel Kreuter, Jochen Wagner, and Michael Staudinger

Abstract

The Innsbruck Atmospheric Observatory (IAO) aims to investigate atmospheric chemistry, micrometeorology, and mountain meteorology in a synergistic fashion within an urban setting. A new measurement supersite has been established in order to study processes affecting the exchange of momentum, energy, trace gases, and aerosols in an Alpine urban environment. Various long-term continuous measurements are augmented by frequent focused research campaigns with state-of-the-art instrumentation, linking different classes of data and addressing significant gaps in scientific data availability for urban environments. Current activities seek to address research objectives related to the urban heat island, trace gas emissions, the influence of foehn on air quality, and the atmospheric distribution of trace gases and aerosols in a mountainous city. We present initial results from long-term operations and first highlights from two intensive operational phases, showing that 1) the exchange of greenhouse gas emissions is dominated by anthropogenic activities and is driven by location-specific venting of street canyon air; 2) foehn events significantly perturb the photostationary state indicative for an extensive and rapid airmass exchange of the valley atmosphere; 3) the temporal distribution of pollutants is often decoupled from their emissions and primarily modulated by mountain boundary layer dynamics; 4) we can detect a large number of volatile chemical products in the urban atmosphere, which can be used to fingerprint anthropogenic emission sources; and 5) the first urban carbonyl sulfide (COS) flux measurements point toward anthropogenic emission sources.

Free access
Nilton O. Rennó, Earle Williams, Daniel Rosenfeld, David G. Fischer, Jürgen Fischer, Tibor Kremic, Arun Agrawal, Meinrat O. Andreae, Rosina Bierbaum, Richard Blakeslee, Anko Boerner, Neil Bowles, Hugh Christian, Ann Cox, Jason Dunion, Akos Horvath, Xianglei Huang, Alexander Khain, Stefan Kinne, Maria C. Lemos, Joyce E. Penner, Ulrich Pöschl, Johannes Quaas, Elena Seran, Bjorn Stevens, Thomas Walati, and Thomas Wagner

The formation of cloud droplets on aerosol particles, technically known as the activation of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), is the fundamental process driving the interactions of aerosols with clouds and precipitation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Decadal Survey indicate that the uncertainty in how clouds adjust to aerosol perturbations dominates the uncertainty in the overall quantification of the radiative forcing attributable to human activities.

Measurements by current satellites allow the determination of crude profiles of cloud particle size, but not of the activated CCN that seed them. The Clouds, Hazards, and Aerosols Survey for Earth Researchers (CHASER) mission concept responds to the IPCC and Decadal Survey concerns, utilizing a new technique and high-heritage instruments to measure all the quantities necessary to produce the first global survey maps of activated CCN and the properties of the clouds associated with them. CHASER also determines the activated CCN concentration and cloud thermodynamic forcing simultaneously, allowing the effects of each to be distinguished.

Full access
David C. Fritts, Ronald B. Smith, Michael J. Taylor, James D. Doyle, Stephen D. Eckermann, Andreas Dörnbrack, Markus Rapp, Bifford P. Williams, P.-Dominique Pautet, Katrina Bossert, Neal R. Criddle, Carolyn A. Reynolds, P. Alex Reinecke, Michael Uddstrom, Michael J. Revell, Richard Turner, Bernd Kaifler, Johannes S. Wagner, Tyler Mixa, Christopher G. Kruse, Alison D. Nugent, Campbell D. Watson, Sonja Gisinger, Steven M. Smith, Ruth S. Lieberman, Brian Laughman, James J. Moore, William O. Brown, Julie A. Haggerty, Alison Rockwell, Gregory J. Stossmeister, Steven F. Williams, Gonzalo Hernandez, Damian J. Murphy, Andrew R. Klekociuk, Iain M. Reid, and Jun Ma

Abstract

The Deep Propagating Gravity Wave Experiment (DEEPWAVE) was designed to quantify gravity wave (GW) dynamics and effects from orographic and other sources to regions of dissipation at high altitudes. The core DEEPWAVE field phase took place from May through July 2014 using a comprehensive suite of airborne and ground-based instruments providing measurements from Earth’s surface to ∼100 km. Austral winter was chosen to observe deep GW propagation to high altitudes. DEEPWAVE was based on South Island, New Zealand, to provide access to the New Zealand and Tasmanian “hotspots” of GW activity and additional GW sources over the Southern Ocean and Tasman Sea. To observe GWs up to ∼100 km, DEEPWAVE utilized three new instruments built specifically for the National Science Foundation (NSF)/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Gulfstream V (GV): a Rayleigh lidar, a sodium resonance lidar, and an advanced mesosphere temperature mapper. These measurements were supplemented by in situ probes, dropsondes, and a microwave temperature profiler on the GV and by in situ probes and a Doppler lidar aboard the German DLR Falcon. Extensive ground-based instrumentation and radiosondes were deployed on South Island, Tasmania, and Southern Ocean islands. Deep orographic GWs were a primary target but multiple flights also observed deep GWs arising from deep convection, jet streams, and frontal systems. Highlights include the following: 1) strong orographic GW forcing accompanying strong cross-mountain flows, 2) strong high-altitude responses even when orographic forcing was weak, 3) large-scale GWs at high altitudes arising from jet stream sources, and 4) significant flight-level energy fluxes and often very large momentum fluxes at high altitudes.

Full access