Propagation of Planetary Waves between the Troposphere and Stratosphere

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
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Abstract

The propagation of planetary waves between the troposphere and stratosphere is investigated using a linear, time-dependent, primitive equation model. It is found that the tropopause acts like a valve for the propagation of planetary waves. The key parameters controlling the valve are the vertical gradient of buoyancy frequency and the vertical shear of the zonal winds at the tropopause. For a given wind profile smaller gradient of buoyancy frequency enhances the propagation of planetary waves. For a given profile of buoyancy frequency the larger the shear, the more the wave activity is trapped in the troposphere, and therefore, there is less left to propagate into the stratosphere. The transmission across the tropopause is, however, not sensitive to zonal winds in the upper stratosphere.

The propagation of planetary waves is very sensitive to transience. More transient waves propagate more vertically within the troposphere, and for more transient waves, more wave activity is transferred into the stratosphere from the troposphere.

Abstract

The propagation of planetary waves between the troposphere and stratosphere is investigated using a linear, time-dependent, primitive equation model. It is found that the tropopause acts like a valve for the propagation of planetary waves. The key parameters controlling the valve are the vertical gradient of buoyancy frequency and the vertical shear of the zonal winds at the tropopause. For a given wind profile smaller gradient of buoyancy frequency enhances the propagation of planetary waves. For a given profile of buoyancy frequency the larger the shear, the more the wave activity is trapped in the troposphere, and therefore, there is less left to propagate into the stratosphere. The transmission across the tropopause is, however, not sensitive to zonal winds in the upper stratosphere.

The propagation of planetary waves is very sensitive to transience. More transient waves propagate more vertically within the troposphere, and for more transient waves, more wave activity is transferred into the stratosphere from the troposphere.

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