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Momentum flux estimates for South Georgia Island mountain waves in the stratosphere observed via satellite
 

Summary: Momentum flux estimates for South Georgia Island mountain
waves in the stratosphere observed via satellite
M. Joan Alexander,1
Stephen D. Eckermann,2
Dave Broutman,3
and Jun Ma3
Received 7 April 2009; revised 26 May 2009; accepted 4 June 2009; published 30 June 2009.
[1] We show high-resolution satellite observations of
mountain wave events in the stratosphere above South
Georgia Island in the remote southern Atlantic Ocean and
compute the wave momentum fluxes for these events. The
fluxes are large, and they imply important drag forces on the
circulation. Small island orography is generally neglected in
mountain wave parameterizations used in global climate
models because limited model resolution treats the grid cell
containing the island as ocean rather than land. Our results
show that satellite observations can be used to quantitatively
constrain mountain wave momentum fluxes, and they
suggest that mountain waves from island topography may
be an important missing source of drag on the atmospheric

  

Source: Alexander, M. Joan - Colorado Research Associates Division, Northwest Research Associates, Inc.

 

Collections: Geosciences