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F. Sassi, R. R. Garcia, and K. W. Hoppel

Abstract

Large-scale Rossby normal modes are studied for the Northern Hemisphere winters of 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009 using global observational meteorological analyses spanning the 0–92-km altitude range. Spectral analysis of geopotential height fields shows pronounced peaks at westward-propagating zonal wavenumber 1 near the theoretical locations of the free Rossby waves at 25, 16, 10, and 5 days that, in some cases, have amplitudes significantly larger than the estimated background spectrum. Evidence is also found for a wavenumber-2 free mode near 4 days. A coherence analysis is used to extract the amplitude and phase of the waves, and to isolate those regions of the latitude/altitude plane where the signals are statistically significant. Although the spectral location, temporal evolution, and vertical structure of several of these waves are suggestive of the presence of Rossby normal modes, this study shows that in the real atmosphere the waves only occasionally have the global properties of classical normal modes. Moreover, no evidence is found that the amplitudes of these modes are enhanced during stratospheric sudden warmings.

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Fabrizio Sassi, R. R. Garcia, D. Marsh, and K. W. Hoppel

Abstract

This paper compares present-day simulations made with two state-of-the-art climate models: a conventional model specifically designed to represent the tropospheric climate, which has a poorly resolved middle atmosphere, and a configuration that is built on the same physics and numerical algorithms but represents realistically the middle atmosphere and lower thermosphere. The atmospheric behavior is found to be different between the two model configurations, and it is shown that the differences in the two simulations can be attributed to differences in the behavior of the zonal mean state of the stratosphere, where reflection of quasi-stationary resolved planetary waves from the lid of the low-top model is prominent; the more realistic physics in the high-top model is not relevant. It is also shown that downward propagation of zonal wind anomalies during weak stratospheric vortex events is substantially different in the two model configurations. These findings extend earlier results that a poorly resolved stratosphere can influence simulations throughout the troposphere.

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Joseph M. Prusa, Piotr K. Smolarkiewicz, and Rolando R. Garcia

Abstract

An anelastic approximation is used with a time-variable coordinate transformation to formulate a two-dimensional numerical model that describes the evolution of gravity waves. The model is solved using a semi-Lagrangian method with monotone (nonoscillatory) interpolation of all advected fields. The time-variable transformation is used to generate disturbances at the lower boundary that approximate the effect of a traveling line of thunderstorms (a squall line) or of flow over a broad topographic obstacle. The vertical propagation and breaking of the gravity wave field (under conditions typical of summer solstice) is illustrated for each of these cases. It is shown that the wave field at high altitudes is dominated by a single horizontal wavelength, which is not always related simply to the horizontal dimension of the source. The morphology of wave breaking depends on the horizontal wavelength; for sufficiently short waves, breaking involves roughly one half of the wavelength. In common with other studies, it is found that the breaking waves undergo “self-acceleration,” such that the Zonal-mean intrinsic frequency remains approximately constant in spite of large changes in the background wind. It is also shown that many of the features obtained in the calculations can be understood in terms of linear wave theory. In particular, linear theory provides insights into the wavelength of the waves that break at high altitudes, the onset and evolution of breaking, the horizontal extent of the breaking region and its position relative to the forcing, and the minimum and maximum altitudes where breaking occurs. Wave breaking ceases at the altitude where the background dissipation rate (which in our model is a proxy for molecular diffusion) becomes greater than the rate of dissipation due to wave breaking. This altitude, in effect, the model turbopause, is shown to depend on a relatively small number of parameters that characterize the waves and the background state.

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Rolando R. Garcia, Anne K. Smith, Douglas E. Kinnison, Álvaro de la Cámara, and Damian J. Murphy

Abstract

The current standard version of the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) simulates Southern Hemisphere winter and spring temperatures that are too cold compared with observations. This “cold-pole bias” leads to unrealistically low ozone column amounts in Antarctic spring. Here, the cold-pole problem is addressed by introducing additional mechanical forcing of the circulation via parameterized gravity waves. Insofar as observational guidance is ambiguous regarding the gravity waves that might be important in the Southern Hemisphere stratosphere, the impact of increasing the forcing by orographic gravity waves was investigated. This reduces the strength of the Antarctic polar vortex in WACCM, bringing it into closer agreement with observations, and accelerates the Brewer–Dobson circulation in the polar stratosphere, which warms the polar cap and improves substantially the simulation of Antarctic temperature. These improvements are achieved without degrading the performance of the model in the Northern Hemisphere stratosphere or in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere of either hemisphere. It is shown, finally, that other approaches that enhance gravity wave forcing can also reduce the cold-pole bias such that careful examination of observational evidence and model performance will be required to establish which gravity wave sources are dominant in the real atmosphere. This is especially important because a “downward control” analysis of these results suggests that the improvement of the cold-pole bias itself is not very sensitive to the details of how gravity wave drag is altered.

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Anne K. Smith, Rolando R. Garcia, Andrew C. Moss, and Nicholas J. Mitchell

Abstract

The dominant mode of seasonal variability in the global tropical upper-stratosphere and mesosphere zonal wind is the semiannual oscillation (SAO). However, it is notoriously difficult to measure winds at these heights from satellite or ground-based remote sensing. Here, the balance wind relationship is used to derive monthly and zonally averaged zonal winds in the tropics from satellite retrievals of geopotential height. Data from the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) cover about 12.5 yr, and those from the Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) Sounding of the Atmosphere Using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) cover almost 15 yr. The derived winds agree with direct wind observations below 10 hPa and above 80 km; there are no direct wind observations for validation in the intervening layers of the middle atmosphere. The derived winds show the following prominent peaks associated with the SAO: easterly maxima near the solstices at 1.0 hPa, westerly maxima near the equinoxes at 0.1 hPa, and easterly maxima near the equinoxes at 0.01 hPa. The magnitudes of these three wind maxima are stronger during the first cycle (January at 1.0 hPa and March at 0.1 and 0.01 hPa). The month and pressure level of the wind maxima shift depending on the phase of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) at 10 hPa. During easterly QBO, the westerly maxima are shifted upward, are about 10 m s−1 stronger, and occur approximately 1 month later than those during the westerly QBO phase.

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Alvaro de la Cámara, John R. Albers, Thomas Birner, Rolando R. Garcia, Peter Hitchcock, Douglas E. Kinnison, and Anne K. Smith

Abstract

The Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model, version 4 (WACCM4), is used to investigate the influence of stratospheric conditions on the development of sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs). To this end, targeted experiments are performed on selected modeled SSW events. Specifically, the model is reinitialized three weeks before a given SSW, relaxing the surface fluxes, winds, and temperature below 10 km to the corresponding fields from the free-running simulation. Hence, the tropospheric wave evolution is unaltered across the targeted experiments, but the stratosphere itself can evolve freely. The stratospheric zonal-mean state is then altered 21 days prior to the selected SSWs and rerun with an ensemble of different initial conditions. It is found that a given tropospheric evolution concomitant with the development of an SSW does not uniquely determine the occurrence of an event and that the stratospheric conditions are relevant to the subsequent evolution of the stratospheric flow toward an SSW, even for a fixed tropospheric evolution. It is also shown that interpreting the meridional heat flux at 100 hPa as a proxy of the tropospheric injection of wave activity into the stratosphere should be regarded with caution and that stratospheric dynamics critically influence the heat flux at that altitude.

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R. O. Knuteson, H. E. Revercomb, F. A. Best, N. C. Ciganovich, R. G. Dedecker, T. P. Dirkx, S. C. Ellington, W. F. Feltz, R. K. Garcia, H. B. Howell, W. L. Smith, J. F. Short, and D. C. Tobin

Abstract

A ground-based Fourier transform spectrometer has been developed to measure the atmospheric downwelling infrared radiance spectrum at the earth's surface with high absolute accuracy. The Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) instrument was designed and fabricated by the University of Wisconsin Space Science and Engineering Center (UW-SSEC) for the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program. This paper emphasizes the key features of the UW-SSEC instrument design that contribute to meeting the AERI instrument requirements for the ARM Program. These features include a highly accurate radiometric calibration system, an instrument controller that provides continuous and autonomous operation, an extensive data acquisition system for monitoring calibration temperatures and instrument health, and a real-time data processing system. In particular, focus is placed on design issues crucial to meeting the ARM requirements for radiometric calibration, spectral calibration, noise performance, and operational reliability. The detailed performance characteristics of the AERI instruments built for the ARM Program are described in a companion paper.

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R. O. Knuteson, H. E. Revercomb, F. A. Best, N. C. Ciganovich, R. G. Dedecker, T. P. Dirkx, S. C. Ellington, W. F. Feltz, R. K. Garcia, H. B. Howell, W. L. Smith, J. F. Short, and D. C. Tobin

Abstract

The Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) instrument was developed for the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program by the University of Wisconsin Space Science and Engineering Center (UW-SSEC). The infrared emission spectra measured by the instrument have the sensitivity and absolute accuracy needed for atmospheric remote sensing and climate studies. The instrument design is described in a companion paper. This paper describes in detail the measured performance characteristics of the AERI instruments built for the ARM Program. In particular, the AERI systems achieve an absolute radiometric calibration of better than 1% (3σ) of ambient radiance, with a reproducibility of better than 0.2%. The knowledge of the AERI spectral calibration is better than 1.5 ppm (1σ) in the wavenumber range 400– 3000 cm−1.

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E. Theocharous, N. P. Fox, I. Barker-Snook, R. Niclòs, V. Garcia Santos, P. J. Minnett, F. M. Göttsche, L. Poutier, N. Morgan, T. Nightingale, W. Wimmer, J. Høyer, K. Zhang, M. Yang, L. Guan, M. Arbelo, and C. J. Donlon

Abstract

To ensure confidence, measurements carried out by imaging radiometers mounted on satellites require robust validation using “fiducial quality” measurements of the same in situ parameter. For surface temperature measurements this is optimally carried out by radiometers measuring radiation emitted in the infrared region of the spectrum, collocated to that of a satellite overpass. For ocean surface temperatures the radiometers are usually on board ships to sample large areas but for land and ice they are typically deployed at defined geographical sites. It is of course critical that the validation measurements and associated instrumentation are internationally consistent and traceable to international standards. The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) facilitates this process and over the last two decades has organized a series of comparisons, initially to develop and share best practice, but now to assess metrological uncertainties and degree of consistency of all the participants. The fourth CEOS comparison of validation instrumentation: blackbodies and infrared radiometers, was held at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) during June and July 2016, sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA). The 2016 campaign was completed over a period of three weeks and included not only laboratory-based measurements but also representative measurements carried out in field conditions, over land and water. This paper is one of a series and reports the results obtained when radiometers participating in this comparison were used to measure the radiance temperature of the NPL ammonia heat-pipe blackbody during the 2016 comparison activities (i.e., an assessment of radiometer performance compared to international standards). This comparison showed that the differences between the participating radiometer readings and the corresponding temperature of the reference blackbody were within the uncertainty of the measurements, but there were a few exceptions, particularly for a reference blackbody temperature of −30°C. Reasons that give rise to the discrepancies observed at the low blackbody temperatures were identified.

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Neal Butchart, I. Cionni, V. Eyring, T. G. Shepherd, D. W. Waugh, H. Akiyoshi, J. Austin, C. Brühl, M. P. Chipperfield, E. Cordero, M. Dameris, R. Deckert, S. Dhomse, S. M. Frith, R. R. Garcia, A. Gettelman, M. A. Giorgetta, D. E. Kinnison, F. Li, E. Mancini, C. McLandress, S. Pawson, G. Pitari, D. A. Plummer, E. Rozanov, F. Sassi, J. F. Scinocca, K. Shibata, B. Steil, and W. Tian

Abstract

The response of stratospheric climate and circulation to increasing amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and ozone recovery in the twenty-first century is analyzed in simulations of 11 chemistry–climate models using near-identical forcings and experimental setup. In addition to an overall global cooling of the stratosphere in the simulations (0.59 ± 0.07 K decade−1 at 10 hPa), ozone recovery causes a warming of the Southern Hemisphere polar lower stratosphere in summer with enhanced cooling above. The rate of warming correlates with the rate of ozone recovery projected by the models and, on average, changes from 0.8 to 0.48 K decade−1 at 100 hPa as the rate of recovery declines from the first to the second half of the century. In the winter northern polar lower stratosphere the increased radiative cooling from the growing abundance of GHGs is, in most models, balanced by adiabatic warming from stronger polar downwelling. In the Antarctic lower stratosphere the models simulate an increase in low temperature extremes required for polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) formation, but the positive trend is decreasing over the twenty-first century in all models. In the Arctic, none of the models simulates a statistically significant increase in Arctic PSCs throughout the twenty-first century. The subtropical jets accelerate in response to climate change and the ozone recovery produces a westward acceleration of the lower-stratospheric wind over the Antarctic during summer, though this response is sensitive to the rate of recovery projected by the models. There is a strengthening of the Brewer–Dobson circulation throughout the depth of the stratosphere, which reduces the mean age of air nearly everywhere at a rate of about 0.05 yr decade−1 in those models with this diagnostic. On average, the annual mean tropical upwelling in the lower stratosphere (∼70 hPa) increases by almost 2% decade−1, with 59% of this trend forced by the parameterized orographic gravity wave drag in the models. This is a consequence of the eastward acceleration of the subtropical jets, which increases the upward flux of (parameterized) momentum reaching the lower stratosphere in these latitudes.

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