Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 15755-15775, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-15755-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
21 Dec 2016
Influence of the spatial distribution of gravity wave activity on the middle atmospheric dynamics
Petr Šácha1, Friederike Lilienthal2, Christoph Jacobi2, and Petr Pišoft1 1Department of Atmospheric Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, V Holesovickach 2, 180 00 Prague 8, Czech Republic
2Institute for Meteorology, University of Leipzig, Stephanstr. 3, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
Abstract. Analysing GPS radio occultation density profiles, we have recently pointed out a localised area of enhanced gravity wave (GW) activity and breaking in the lower stratosphere of the east Asian–northwestern Pacific (EA/NP) region. With a mechanistic model of the middle and upper atmosphere, experiments are performed to study the possible effect of such a localised GW breaking region on large-scale circulation and transport and, more generally, a possible influence of the spatial distribution of gravity wave activity on middle atmospheric dynamics.

The results indicate the important role of the spatial distribution of GW activity for polar vortex stability, formation of planetary waves and for the strength and structure of zonal-mean residual circulation. Furthermore, a possible effect of a zonally asymmetric GW breaking in the longitudinal variability of the Brewer–Dobson circulation is analysed. Finally, consequences of our results for a variety of research topics (e.g. sudden stratospheric warming, atmospheric blocking, teleconnection patterns and a compensation mechanism between resolved and unresolved drag) are discussed.


Citation: Šácha, P., Lilienthal, F., Jacobi, C., and Pišoft, P.: Influence of the spatial distribution of gravity wave activity on the middle atmospheric dynamics, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 15755-15775, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-15755-2016, 2016.
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Short summary
With a mechanistic model for the middle and upper atmosphere we performed sensitivity simulations to study a possible impact of a localized GW breaking hotspot in the eastern Asia–northern Pacific region and also the possible influence of the spatial distribution of gravity wave activity on the middle atmospheric circulation and transport. We show implications for polar vortex stability, in situ PW generation and longitudinal variability and strength of the Brewer–Dobson circulation.
With a mechanistic model for the middle and upper atmosphere we performed sensitivity...
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