Articles | Volume 10, issue 14
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 6889–6899, 2010
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 6889–6899, 2010

  26 Jul 2010

26 Jul 2010

Atmospheric diurnal variations observed with GPS radio occultation soundings

F. Xie1,*, D. L. Wu1, C. O. Ao1, and A. J. Mannucci1 F. Xie et al.
  • 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
  • *now at: Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering (JIFRESSE), University of California, Los Angeles, California, 90095, USA

Abstract. The diurnal variation, driven by solar forcing, is a fundamental mode in the Earth's weather and climate system. Radio occultation (RO) measurements from the six COSMIC satellites (Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate) provide nearly uniform global coverage with high vertical resolution, all-weather and diurnal sampling capability. This paper analyzes the diurnal variations of temperature and refractivity from three-year (2007–2009) COSMIC RO measurements in the troposphere and stratosphere between 30° S and 30° N. The RO observations reveal both propagating and trapped vertical structures of diurnal variations, including transition regions near the tropopause where data with high vertical resolution are critical. In the tropics the diurnal amplitude in refractivity shows the minimum around 14 km and increases to a local maximum around 32 km in the stratosphere. The upward propagating component of the migrating diurnal tides in the tropics is clearly captured by the GPS RO measurements, which show a downward progression in phase from stratopause to the upper troposphere with a vertical wavelength of about 25 km. At ~32 km the seasonal variation of the tidal amplitude maximizes at the opposite side of the equator relative to the solar forcing. The vertical structure of tidal amplitude shows strong seasonal variations and becomes asymmetric along the equator and tilted toward the summer hemisphere in the solstice months. Such asymmetry becomes less prominent in equinox months.

Final-revised paper