Trends and variability of mesospheric temperature at high-latitudes

Using ground-based measurements of the hydroxyl (OH) Meinel (3,1) band nightglow near 1500 nm, nightly means of mesospheric temperature and OH radiance from 1991 to 1998 have been derived over Stockholm (59.5degreesN, 18.2degreesE). Time-series analysis techniques applied both to the eight-year data set as well as to an annual superposed epoch revealed several statistically significant periodic components. A trend analysis that included these periodic components revealed a small positive trend over the eight-year temperature time series. However, examining the trends on a mouth-to-mouth basis revealed positive trends during winter, small negative trends during equinox, and no significant trend during summer. This seasonal variability indicates that dynamic feedbacks, rather than radiative forcing of the mesosphere by infrared active gases, may dominate the response of the mesosphere to greenhouse gas emissions. In support of this an examination of the variability in the superposed epoch of OH temperature and radiance showed strong impulses near equinox. A simple gravity-wave transmission and dissipation model indicates that these are due in part to seasonal increases in the gravity-wave transmission of the lower atmosphere, and enhanced wave heating and mixing in the mesosphere. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.


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Authors: Espy, P.J., Stegman, J.

1 January, 2002
Physics and Chemistry of the Earth / 27
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