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Similarities in middle atmosphere structures

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Abstract:

Similarities of middle atmosphere structures are analyzed on the basis of CRISTA and SABER data which extend from the upper troposphere up into the lower thermosphere. An event of planetary wave breaking is identified that leads to the formation of a surf zone the middle mesosphere (70 km); its structures are seen in temperature, potential vorticity and trace gas mixing ratios. A second analysis compares the structures of the tropopause and the mesopause. A cold point mesopause and a dynamical (potential vorticity) mesopause are suggested similarly as they are used at the tropopause. A lapse rate mesopause, however, appears to be of little use. The dynamical mesopause appears to indicate a transport barrier similar as it is the case at the low altitudes. In summer a "split mesopause" is observed at middle to high latitudes. There is a zonal wind jet near to this apparent mesopause break which is similar to what can be observed at the tropopause.

German
Strukturähnlichkeiten in der mittleren Atmosphäre werden mittels CRISTA- und SABER-Daten untersucht, die von der oberen Troposphäre bis in die untere Thermosphäre reichen. Als Beispiel wird das Brechen einer planetaren Welle analysiert, welches zur Ausbildung einer ,,surf zone" in der mittleren Mesosphäre (70 km) führt. Sie ist sichtbar in den Feldern der Temperatur, potentiellen Vorticity und Spurengasdichte. Ein zweites Beispiel ist der Vergleich der Mesopause mit der Tropopause. Es lässt sich – in Analogie zur Tropopause – eine ,,Cold Point" Mesopause und eine dynamische Mesopause (mittels potentieller Vorticity) angeben und in ähnlicher Weise benutzen wie in der unteren Atmosphäre. Eine in ähnlicher Analogie gebildete ,,Lapse-Rate" Mesopause erweist sich dagegen als wenig sinnvoll. Wie in der unteren Atmosphäre scheint die dynamische Mesopause eine Transportbarriere zu sein. Ähnlich wie an der Tropopause treten an der Mesopause Brüche auf (,,gespaltene Mesopause"). Sie sind mit Jets des zonalen Windes verbunden, was eine weitere Ähnlichkeit mit der Tropopause darzustellen scheint.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0135

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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