Gravity wave activity and dynamical effects in the middle atmosphere (60-90km): Observations from an MF/MLT radar network, and results from the Canadian middle atmosphere model (CMAM)

A. H. Manson, C. E. Meek, J. Koshyk, S. Franke, D. C. Fritts, D. Riggin, C. M. Hall, W. K. Hocking, J. MacDougall, K. Igarashi, R. A. Vincent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It has become increasingly clear that Gravity Waves (GW) have an essential and often dominant role in the dynamics of the Middle Atmosphere. This leads to them having strong impacts upon the thermal structure and the distribution of atmospheric constituents. However, the radar observations of GW have been limited in their latitudinal extent during the past decade, and although satellite observations are now significantly contributing, global-seasonal climatologies of important characteristics are still inadequate. With regard to models, the inclusion of GW-drag effects has been problematic. Usually no seasonal or latitudinal variation in the subgrid-scale GW-drag parameterization scheme is included, and varieties of parameterization schemes have been used. Although these often make conflicting assumptions, they generally produce similarly acceptable end-products, e.g. zonal-mean zonal wind fields. In this paper, we report upon the beginnings of a substantial program, using observations from a network of MF radars (North America, Pacific and Europe), and data from the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model (CMAM). This model allows the tidal and planetary wave fields to be assesed, characteristics and climatologies of which are well known from the MF Radars. Here we focus upon the tides. There are useful similarities in the observed and modeled background wind and wave fields, and strong indications that the two non-orographic GW-drag parameterization schemes (Hines; Medvedev-Klaassen) have significant and differing effects upon the dynamics of the modeled atmosphere. It is shown that this comparison process is valuable in the evaluation, and potentially the optimization, of parameterization schemes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-90
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Volume64
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Canadian middle atmosphere model
  • Gravity waves
  • Middle atmosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science

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