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Gravity-wave forcing in the stratosphere: Observational constraints from the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and implications for
 

Summary: Gravity-wave forcing in the stratosphere: Observational constraints
from the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and implications for
parameterization in global models
M. Joan Alexander
Colorado Research Associates, Division of Northwest Research Associates, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Karen H. Rosenlof
NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Received 2 January 2003; revised 23 May 2003; accepted 6 June 2003; published 2 October 2003.
[1] Global models that include parameterized gravity-wave effects have an excessively
broad range of tuning parameters to choose from that allow a very broad range of gravity-
wave momentum forcing distributions. We derive a set of constraints on gravity-wave
characteristics near the tropopause from databased estimates of gravity-wave effects in the
stratosphere. We use 5.6 years of Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite data and UK Met
Office-analyzed wind and temperature fields to first derive estimates of the gravity-wave
mean flow forcing in the stratosphere. We then compare these estimates to a suite of
gravity-wave model calculations to infer the constraints on the gravity-wave
characteristics near the tropopause. These constraints apply to the portion of the gravity-
wave spectrum that dissipates in the stratosphere and does not include those that dissipate
and drive the mesosphere. We focus on equatorial and extratropical regions separately
and find substantially different wave characteristics between the two. We also find a

  

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

 

Collections: Geosciences