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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-01-07
    Description: The satellite-derived HOAPS (Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data) precipitation estimates have been validated against in-situ precipitation measurements from optical disdrometers, available from OceanRAIN (Ocean Rainfall And Ice-phase precipitation measurement Network) over the open-ocean by applying a statistical analysis for binary estimates. In addition to using directly collocated pairs of data, collocated data were merged within a certain temporal and spatial threshold into single events, according to the observation times. Although binary statistics do not show perfect agreement, simulations of areal estimates from the observations themselves indicate a reasonable performance of HOAPS to detect rain. However, there are deficits at low and mid-latitudes. Weaknesses also occur when analyzing the mean precipitation rates; HOAPS underperforms in the area of the intertropical convergence zone, where OceanRAIN observations show the highest mean precipitation rates. Histograms indicate that this is due to an underestimation of the frequency of moderate to high precipitation rates by HOAPS, which cannot be explained by areal averaging.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4433
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2015-11-19
    Print ISSN: 0094-8276
    Electronic ISSN: 1944-8007
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-03-27
    Description: This study aims to quantify how much of the observed strength and variability in the zonal-mean extratropical tropopause inversion layer (TIL) comes from the modulation of the temperature field and its gradients around the tropopause by planetary- and synoptic-scale waves. By analyzing high-resolution observations, it also puts other TIL enhancing mechanisms into context.Using gridded Global Positioning System radio occultation (GPS-RO) temperature profiles from the COSMIC mission (2007–2013), we are able to extract the extratropical wave signal by a simplified wavenumber–frequency domain filtering method and quantify the resulting TIL enhancement. By subtracting the extratropical wave signal, we show how much of the TIL is associated with other processes, at mid- and high latitudes, for both hemispheres and all seasons.The transient and reversible modulation by planetary- and synoptic-scale waves is almost entirely responsible for the TIL in midlatitudes. This means that wave-mean flow interactions, inertia–gravity waves and the residual circulation are of minor importance for the strength and variability in the midlatitude TIL.At polar regions, the extratropical wave modulation is dominant for the TIL strength as well, but there is also a clear fingerprint from sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) and final warmings in both hemispheres. Therefore, polar vortex breakups are partially responsible for the observed polar TIL strength in winter (if SSWs occur) and spring. Also, part of the polar summer TIL strength cannot be explained by extratropical wave modulation.We suggest that our wave modulation mechanism integrates several TIL enhancing mechanisms proposed in previous literature while robustly disclosing the overall outcome of the different processes involved. By analyzing observations only, our study identifies which mechanisms dominate the extratropical TIL strength and their relative contribution. It remains to be determined, however, which roles the different planetary- and synoptic-scale wave types play within the total extratropical wave modulation of the TIL, as well as what causes the observed amplification of extratropical waves near the tropopause.
    Print ISSN: 1680-7316
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7324
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2016-03-14
    Description: The Tropical Tropopause Layer (TTL) acts as a "transition" layer between the troposphere and the stratosphere over several kilometers, where air has both tropospheric and stratospheric properties. Within this region, a fine-scale feature is located: the Tropopause Inversion Layer (TIL), which consists of a sharp temperature inversion at the tropopause and a corresponding increase in static stability above. The high static stability values reached within the TIL theoretically affect the dispersion relations of atmospheric waves like Rossby or Inertia-Gravity waves and hamper stratosphere-troposphere exchange (STE). Therefore, the TIL receives increasing attention from the scientific community, mainly in the extratropics so far. Our goal is to give a detailed picture of the properties, variability and forcings of the tropical TIL, with special emphasis on small-scale equatorial waves and the QBO. We use high-resolution temperature profiles from the COSMIC satellite mission, i.e. ~2000 measurements per day globally, between 2007 and 2013, to derive TIL properties and to study the fine-scale structures of static stability in the tropics. The meteorological situation at near tropopause level is described by the 100hPa divergence fields, and the vertical structure of the QBO is provided by the equatorial winds at all levels, both from the ERA-Interim reanalysis. We describe a new feature of the equatorial static stability profile: a secondary stability maximum below the zero wind line within the easterly QBO wind regime at about at 20–25 km altitude, which is forced by the descending westerly QBO phase and gives a double-TIL-like structure. In the lowermost stratosphere, the TIL is stronger with westerly winds. We provide the first evidence of a relationship between the tropical TIL strength and near-tropopause divergence, with stronger (weaker) TIL with near-tropopause divergent (convergent) flow, a relationship similar to the TIL strength with relative vorticity in the extratropics. To elucidate possible enhancing mechanisms of the tropical TIL, we quantify the dynamical forcing of the different equatorial waves on the vertical structure of static stability in the tropics. All waves show maximum cooling at the thermal tropopause, a warming effect above, and a net TIL enhancement close to the tropopause. The main drivers are Kelvin, inertia-gravity and Rossby waves. We suggest that a similar wave forcing will exist at mid and polar latitudes from the extratropical wave modes.
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7375
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2016-09-06
    Description: This study aims to quantify how much of the extratropical Tropopause Inversion Layer (TIL) comes from the modulation by planetary and synoptic-scale waves. By analyzing high-resolution observations, it also puts other TIL enhancing mechanisms into context. Using gridded COSMIC GPS-RO temperature profiles from 2007–2013 we are able to extract the extratropical wave signal by a simplified wavenumber-frequency domain filtering method, and to quantify the resulting TIL enhancement. By subtracting the extratropical wave signal, we show how much of the TIL is associated with other processes, at mid and high latitudes, for both Hemispheres and all seasons. The instantaneous modulation by planetary and synoptic-scale waves is almost entirely responsible for the TIL in mid-latitudes. This means that wave-mean flow interactions, inertia-gravity waves or the residual circulation are of minor importance in mid-latitudes. At polar regions, the extratropical wave modulation is dominant for the TIL strength as well, but there is also a clear fingerprint from sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) and final warmings in both hemispheres. Therefore, polar vortex breakups are partially responsible for the observed polar TIL strength in winter (if SSWs occur) and spring. Also, part of the polar summer TIL strength cannot be explained by extratropical wave modulation. After many modelling studies that proposed different TIL enhancing mechanisms in the last decade, our study finally identifies which processes dominate the extratropical TIL strength and their relative contribution, by analyzing observations only. It remains to be determined, however, which roles the different planetary and synoptic-scale wave types play within the total extratropical wave modulation of the TIL; and what causes the observed amplification of extratropical waves near the tropopause.
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7375
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-04
    Description: The tropical tropopause layer (TTL) is the transition region between the well mixed, convective troposphere and the radiatively controlled stratosphere with air masses showing chemical and dynamical properties of both regions. The representation of the TTL in meteorological reanalysis data sets is important for studying the complex interactions of circulation, convection, trace gases, clouds and radiation. In this paper, we present the evaluation of TTL characteristics in reanalysis data sets that has been performed as part of the SPARC (Stratosphere– troposphere Processes and their Role in Climate) Reanalysis Intercomparison Project (S-RIP). The most recent atmospheric reanalysis data sets all provide realistic representations of the major characteristics of the temperature structure within the TTL. There is good agreement between reanalysis estimates of tropical mean temperatures and radio occultation data, with relatively small cold biases for most data sets. Temperatures at the cold point and lapse rate tropopause levels, on the other hand, show warm biases in reanalyses when compared to observations. This tropopause-level warm bias is related to the vertical resolution of the reanalysis data, with the smallest bias found for data sets with the highest vertical resolution around the tropopause. Differences of the cold point temperature maximise over equatorial Africa, related to Kelvin wave activity and associated disturbances in TTL temperatures. Model simulations of air mass transport into the stratosphere driven by reanalyses with a warm cold point bias can be expected to have too little dehydration. Interannual variability in reanalysis temperatures is best constrained in the upper TTL, with larger differences at levels below the cold point. The reanalyses reproduce the temperature responses to major dynamical and radiative signals such as volcanic eruptions and the QBO. Long-term reanalysis trends in temperature in the upper TTL show good agreement with trends derived from adjusted radiosonde data sets indicating significant stratospheric cooling of around −0.5 to −1 K/decade. At 100 hPa and the cold point, most of the reanalyses suggest small but significant cooling trends of −0.3 to −0.6 K/decade that are statistically consistent with trends based on the adjusted radiosonde data sets. Advances of the reanalysis and observational systems over the last decades have led to a clear improvement of the TTL reanalyses products over time. Biases of the temperature profiles and differences in interannual variability clearly decreased in 2006, when densely sampled radio occultation data started being assimilated by the reanalyses. While there is an overall good agreement, different reanalyses offer different advantages in the TTL such as realistic profile and cold point temperature, continuous time series or a realistic representation of signals of interannual variability. Their use in model simulations and in comparisons with climate model output should be tailored to their specific strengths and weaknesses.
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7375
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2016-09-20
    Description: The tropical tropopause layer (TTL) acts as a transition layer between the troposphere and the stratosphere over several kilometers, where air has both tropospheric and stratospheric properties. Within this region, a fine-scale feature is located: the tropopause inversion layer (TIL), which consists of a sharp temperature inversion at the tropopause and the corresponding high static stability values right above, which theoretically affect the dispersion relations of atmospheric waves like Rossby or inertia–gravity waves and hamper stratosphere–troposphere exchange (STE). Therefore, the TIL receives increasing attention from the scientific community, mainly in the extratropics so far. Our goal is to give a detailed picture of the properties, variability and forcings of the tropical TIL, with special emphasis on small-scale equatorial waves and the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO).We use high-resolution temperature profiles from the COSMIC satellite mission, i.e., ∼ 2000 measurements per day globally, between 2007 and 2013, to derive TIL properties and to study the fine-scale structures of static stability in the tropics. The situation at near tropopause level is described by the 100hPa horizontal wind divergence fields, and the vertical structure of the QBO is provided by the equatorial winds at all levels, both from the ERA-Interim reanalysis.We describe a new feature of the equatorial static stability profile: a secondary stability maximum below the zero wind line within the easterly QBO wind regime at about 20–25km altitude, which is forced by the descending westerly QBO phase and gives a double-TIL-like structure. In the lowermost stratosphere, the TIL is stronger with westerly winds. We provide the first evidence of a relationship between the tropical TIL strength and near-tropopause divergence, with stronger (weaker) TIL with near-tropopause divergent (convergent) flow, a relationship analogous to that of TIL strength with relative vorticity in the extratropics.To elucidate possible enhancing mechanisms of the tropical TIL, we quantify the signature of the different equatorial waves on the vertical structure of static stability in the tropics. All waves show, on average, maximum cold anomalies at the thermal tropopause, warm anomalies above and a net TIL enhancement close to the tropopause. The main drivers are Kelvin, inertia–gravity and Rossby waves. We suggest that a similar wave modulation will exist at mid- and polar latitudes from the extratropical wave modes.
    Print ISSN: 1680-7316
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7324
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2020-01-22
    Description: The tropical tropopause layer (TTL) is the transition region between the well-mixed convective troposphere and the radiatively controlled stratosphere with air masses showing chemical and dynamical properties of both regions. The representation of the TTL in meteorological reanalysis data sets is important for studying the complex interactions of circulation, convection, trace gases, clouds, and radiation. In this paper, we present the evaluation of climatological and long-term TTL temperature and tropopause characteristics in the reanalysis data sets ERA-Interim, ERA5, JRA-25, JRA-55, MERRA, MERRA-2, NCEP-NCAR (R1), and CFSR. The evaluation has been performed as part of the SPARC (Stratosphere–troposphere Processes and their Role in Climate) Reanalysis Intercomparison Project (S-RIP). The most recent atmospheric reanalysis data sets (ERA-Interim, ERA5, JRA-55, MERRA-2, and CFSR) all provide realistic representations of the major characteristics of the temperature structure within the TTL. There is good agreement between reanalysis estimates of tropical mean temperatures and radio occultation data, with relatively small cold biases for most data sets. Temperatures at the cold point and lapse rate tropopause levels, on the other hand, show warm biases in reanalyses when compared to observations. This tropopause-level warm bias is related to the vertical resolution of the reanalysis data, with the smallest bias found for data sets with the highest vertical resolution around the tropopause. Differences in the cold point temperature maximize over equatorial Africa, related to Kelvin wave activity and associated disturbances in TTL temperatures. Interannual variability in reanalysis temperatures is best constrained in the upper TTL, with larger differences at levels below the cold point. The reanalyses reproduce the temperature responses to major dynamical and radiative signals such as volcanic eruptions and the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO). Long-term reanalysis trends in temperature in the upper TTL show good agreement with trends derived from adjusted radiosonde data sets indicating significant stratospheric cooling of around −0.5 to −1 K per decade. At 100 hPa and the cold point, most of the reanalyses suggest small but significant cooling trends of −0.3 to −0.6 K per decade that are statistically consistent with trends based on the adjusted radiosonde data sets. Advances of the reanalysis and observational systems over the last decades have led to a clear improvement in the TTL reanalysis products over time. Biases of the temperature profiles and differences in interannual variability clearly decreased in 2006, when densely sampled radio occultation data started being assimilated by the reanalyses. While there is an overall good agreement, different reanalyses offer different advantages in the TTL such as realistic profile and cold point temperature, continuous time series, or a realistic representation of signals of interannual variability. Their use in model simulations and in comparisons with climate model output should be tailored to their specific strengths and weaknesses.
    Print ISSN: 1680-7316
    Electronic ISSN: 1680-7324
    Topics: Geosciences
    Published by Copernicus on behalf of European Geosciences Union (EGU).
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