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Fine-scale structure of the extratropical tropopause region

Birner, Thomas (2006) Fine-scale structure of the extratropical tropopause region. Journal of Geophysical Research, 111, D04104. DOI: 10.1029/2005JD006301.

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Abstract

A vertically high resolved climatology of the thermal and wind structure of the extratropical tropopause region is presented. The climatology is based on data from 80 U.S. radiosonde stations covering the period 1998–2002. Time averages for each radiosonde station are computed using the tropopause as a common reference level for all vertical profiles within the mean. A strong inversion at the tropopause in the mean vertical temperature gradient is uncovered; that is, temperature strongly increases with altitude within the lowermost stratosphere. This tropopause inversion layer exists on average throughout the investigated extratropics (about 30°N to 70°N). Accordingly, the static stability parameter shows considerably enhanced values within the lowermost extratropical stratosphere compared to typical extratropical stratospheric values further aloft. Conventional averages are not able to capture the tropopause inversion layer. Mean profiles of the horizontal wind show behavior qualitatively corresponding to thermal wind balance. Winter and summer exhibit distinctly different climate states in the extratropical tropopause region. An approximated potential vorticity is considered and found to be close to well mixed within the troposphere as well as within the tropopause inversion layer. This suggests the view of the tropopause inversion layer as representing a dynamically active atmospheric layer. Some potential implications are discussed.

Document Type:Article
Title:Fine-scale structure of the extratropical tropopause region
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Birner, ThomasUNSPECIFIED
Date:2006
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Geophysical Research
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:111
DOI:10.1029/2005JD006301
Page Range:D04104
Status:Published
Keywords:tropopause; dynamics; climatology
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Atmosphären- und Klimaforschung (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Cloud Physics and Traffic Meteorology
Deposited By: Jana Freund
Deposited On:24 Jul 2007
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 05:02

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