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Circulation Features of the Stratosphere Derived from Radiometric Temperature Measurements with the TIROS VII Satellite

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  • 1 U.S. Air Force, Air Weather Service, Washington, D.C.
  • | 2 NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
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Abstract

Measurements of radiation emitted by atmospheric carbon dioxide at 15 μ were performed with the TIROS VII satellite. These measurements describe temperature patterns in the lower stratosphere. Temperature patterns covering a “quasi-global” zone (65N–65S) are investigated for the period June 1963–November 1964. The satellite observations reveal large-scale circulation features of the stratosphere, particularly during the late winter breakdown periods.

The salient feature in the Southern Hemisphere, during both late winters of 1963 and 1964, is the occurrence of a warm cell in the vicinity of Australia. This implies a deflection of the initially circumpolar vortex towards the eastern Pacific. In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is characterized by the well known warm cell over the Aleutian Islands with the vortex displaced towards the Atlantic. The Australian and North Pacific warm cells form the nucleus of the springtime warmings which then spread zonally over the entire Southern and Northern Hemispheres, respectively.

A quantitative Fourier analysis of the temperature variance along high latitude circles leads to the conclusion that there is considerable transport of ozone and heat by horizontal eddies in both hemispheres during winter. Disturbances in the zonal circulation during that period are predominantly of wave number one. During summer wave number zero prevails.

Abstract

Measurements of radiation emitted by atmospheric carbon dioxide at 15 μ were performed with the TIROS VII satellite. These measurements describe temperature patterns in the lower stratosphere. Temperature patterns covering a “quasi-global” zone (65N–65S) are investigated for the period June 1963–November 1964. The satellite observations reveal large-scale circulation features of the stratosphere, particularly during the late winter breakdown periods.

The salient feature in the Southern Hemisphere, during both late winters of 1963 and 1964, is the occurrence of a warm cell in the vicinity of Australia. This implies a deflection of the initially circumpolar vortex towards the eastern Pacific. In the Northern Hemisphere, winter is characterized by the well known warm cell over the Aleutian Islands with the vortex displaced towards the Atlantic. The Australian and North Pacific warm cells form the nucleus of the springtime warmings which then spread zonally over the entire Southern and Northern Hemispheres, respectively.

A quantitative Fourier analysis of the temperature variance along high latitude circles leads to the conclusion that there is considerable transport of ozone and heat by horizontal eddies in both hemispheres during winter. Disturbances in the zonal circulation during that period are predominantly of wave number one. During summer wave number zero prevails.

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