gravity wave
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2022 ◽  
Axel Gabriel

Abstract. The increase in amplitudes of upward propagating gravity waves (GWs) with height due to decreasing density is usually described by exponential growth; however, recent measurements detected a much stronger increase in gravity wave potential energy density (GWPED) during daylight than night-time (increase by a factor of about 4 to 8 between middle stratosphere and upper mesosphere), which is not well understood up to now. This paper suggests that ozone-gravity wave interaction in the upper stratosphere/lower mesosphere is largely responsible for this phenomenon. The coupling between ozone-photochemistry and temperature is particularly strong in the upper stratosphere where the time-mean ozone mixing ratio is decreasing with height; therefore, an initial uplift of an air parcel must lead to a local increase in ozone and in the heating rate compared to the environment, and, hence, to an amplification of the initial uplift. Standard solutions of upward propagating GWs with linear ozone-temperature coupling are formulated suggesting local amplitude amplifications during daylight of 5 to 15 % for low-frequency GWs (periods ≥4 hours), as a function of the intrinsic frequency which decreases if ozone-temperature coupling is included. Subsequently, for horizontal wavelengths larger than 500 km and vertical wavelengths smaller than 5 km, the cumulative amplification during the upward level-by-level propagation leads to much stronger amplitudes in the GW perturbations (factor of about 1.5 to 3) and in the GWPED (factor of about 3 to 9) at upper mesospheric altitudes. The results open a new viewpoint for improving general circulation models with resolved or parameterized GWs.

2022 ◽  
Vol 6 (0) ◽  
pp. 0-0
Yue Wu ◽  
Zheng Sheng ◽  
and XinJie Zuo ◽  

Abstract We present a scaling analysis for the stratified turbulent and small-scale turbulent regimes of atmospheric flow with emphasis on the mesosphere. We distinguish rotating-stratified macroturbulence turbulence (SMT), stratified turbulence (ST), and small-scale isotropic Kolmogorov turbulence (KT), and we specify the length and time scales and the characteristic velocities for these regimes. It is shown that the buoyancy scale (Lb) and the Ozmidov scale (Lo) are the main parameters that describe the transition from SMT to KT. We employ the buoyancy Reynolds number and horizontal Froude number to characterize ST and KT in the mesosphere. This theory is applied to simulation results from a high-resolution general circulation model with a Smagorinsky-type turbulent diffusion scheme for the sub-grid scale parameterization. The model allows us to derive the turbulent root-mean-square (RMS) velocity in the KT regime. It is found that the turbulent RMS velocity has a single maximum in summer and a double maximum in winter months. The secondary maximum in the winter MLT we associate with a secondary gravity wave breaking phenomenon. The turbulent RMS velocity results from the model agree well with Full Correlation Analyses based on MF-radar measurements. A new scaling for the mesoscale horizontal velocity based on the idea of direct energy cascade in masoscales is proposed. The latter findings for mesoscale and small-scale characteristic velocities supports the idea proposed in this research that mesoscale and small-scale dynamics in the mesosphere are governed by SMT, ST, and KT in the statistical average.

2021 ◽  
Vol 21 (24) ◽  
pp. 18641-18668
Cornelia Strube ◽  
Peter Preusse ◽  
Manfred Ern ◽  
Martin Riese

Abstract. In the southern winter polar stratosphere, the distribution of gravity wave momentum flux in many state-of-the-art climate simulations is inconsistent with long-time satellite and superpressure balloon observations around 60∘ S. Recent studies hint that a lateral shift between prominent gravity wave sources in the tropospheric mid-latitudes and the location where gravity wave activity is present in the stratosphere causes at least part of the discrepancy. This lateral shift cannot be represented by the column-based gravity wave drag parameterisations used in most general circulation models. However, recent high-resolution analysis and re-analysis products of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Integrated Forecast System (ECMWF-IFS) show good agreement with the observations and allow for a detailed investigation of resolved gravity waves, their sources, and propagation paths. In this paper, we identify resolved gravity waves in the ECMWF-IFS analyses for a case of high gravity wave activity in the lower stratosphere using small-volume sinusoidal fits to characterise these gravity waves. The 3D wave vector together with perturbation amplitudes, wave frequency, and a fully described background atmosphere are then used to initialise the Gravity Wave Regional or Global Ray Tracer (GROGRAT) gravity wave ray tracer and follow the gravity waves backwards from the stratosphere. Finally, we check for the indication of source processes on the path of each ray and, thus, quantitatively attribute gravity waves to sources that are represented within the model. We find that stratospheric gravity waves are indeed subject to far (>1000 km) lateral displacement from their sources, which already take place at low altitudes (<20 km). Various source processes can be linked to waves within stratospheric gravity wave (GW) patterns, such as the orography equatorward of 50∘ S and non-orographic sources above the Southern Ocean. These findings may explain why superpressure balloons observe enhanced gravity wave momentum fluxes in the lower stratosphere over the Southern Ocean despite an apparent lack of sources at this latitude. Our results also support the need to improve gravity wave parameterisations to account for meridional propagation.

2021 ◽  
Nedjeljka Žagar ◽  
Žiga Zaplotnik ◽  
Valentino Neduhal

&lt;p&gt;The energy spectrum of atmospheric horizontal motions has been extensively studied in observations and numerical simulations. Its canonical shape includes a transition from the -3 power law at synoptic scale to -5/3 power law at mesoscale. The transition is taking place at scales around 500 km that can be seen as the scale where energy associated with quasi-linear inertia-gravity waves exceeds the balanced (or Rossby wave) energy. In contrast to the horizontal spectrum, the spectrum of kinetic energy of vertical motions is poorly known since the vertical motion is not an observed quantity of the global observing system and vertical kinetic energy spectra from non-hydrostatic models are difficult to validate.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Traditionally, vertical velocities associated with the Rossby and gravity waves have been treated separately using the quasi-geostrophic omega equations and polarization relations for the stratified&amp;#160;Boussinesq fluid in the (x,z) plane, respectively. In the tropics, the Rossby and gravity&amp;#160;&amp;#160;wave regimes are&amp;#160;difficult to separate and their frequency gap, present in the extra-tropics, is filled with the Kelvin and mixed Rossby-gravity waves. A separate treatment of the Rossby and gravity wave regimes makes it challenging to quantify energies of their vertical motions and vertical momentum fluxes. A unified treatment and wave interactions is performed by high-resolution non-hydrostatic models but their understanding requires the toolkit of theory.&amp;#160;&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;This contribution presents a unified framework for the derivation of vertical velocities of the Rossby and inertia-gravity waves&amp;#160;and associated kinetic&amp;#160;energy spectra. Expressions for the Rossby and gravity wave vertical velocities are derived using the normal-mode framework in the hydrostatic atmosphere that can be considered applicable up to the scale around 10 km. The derivation involves the analytical evaluation of divergence of the horizontal wind associated with the Rossby and inertia-gravity eigensolutions of the linearized primitive equations. The new framework&amp;#160;is applied to the global analysis data of the ECMWF system.&amp;#160;Results confirm that the tropical vertical kinetic energy spectra associated with inertia-gravity waves are on average indeed white. Deviations from the white spectrum are discussed for latitude and altitude bands.&lt;/p&gt;

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