An 18‐year climatology of directional stratospheric gravity wave momentum flux from 3‐D satellite observations

Atmospheric gravity waves (GWs) are key drivers of the atmospheric circulation, but their representation in general circulation models (GCMs) is challenging, leading to significant biases in middle atmospheric circulations. Unresolved GW momentum transport in GCMs must be parameterised, but global directional GW observations are needed to constrain this. Here we present an 18‐year climatology of directional stratospheric GW momentum flux (GWMF) from global AIRS/Aqua 3‐D satellite observations during 2002 to 2019. Striking hemispheric asymmetries are found at high latitudes, including dramatic reductions and reversals of GWMF during sudden stratospheric warmings. During southern hemisphere winter, a lateral convergence of GWMF towards 60°S is found that has no northern hemisphere counterpart. In the tropics, we find that zonal GWMF in AIRS measurements is strongly modulated by the semi‐annual oscillation (SAO) but not the quasi‐biennial oscillation (QBO). Our results provide guidance for future GW parameterisations needed to resolve long‐standing biases in GCMs.


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Authors: Hindley, N. P., Wright, C. J., Moffat-Griffin, Tracy ORCIDORCID record for Tracy Moffat-Griffin, Mitchell, N. J.

On this site: Tracy Moffat-Griffin
28 November, 2020
Geophysical Research Letters / 47
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