Articles | Volume 13, issue 13
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 6391–6402, 2013
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 6391–6402, 2013

Research article 05 Jul 2013

Research article | 05 Jul 2013

Impact of land convection on temperature diurnal variation in the tropical lower stratosphere inferred from COSMIC GPS radio occultations

S. M. Khaykin, J.-P. Pommereau, and A. Hauchecorne S. M. Khaykin et al.
  • LATMOS, CNRS-Université de Versailles St Quentin, UMR8190, Guyancourt, France

Abstract. Following recent studies evidencing the influence of deep convection on the chemical composition and thermal structure of the tropical lower stratosphere, we explore its impact on the temperature diurnal variation in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere using the high-resolution COSMIC GPS radio-occultation temperature measurements spanning from 2006 through 2011. The temperature in the lowermost stratosphere over land during summer displays a marked diurnal cycle characterized by an afternoon cooling. This diurnal cycle is shown collocated with most intense land convective areas observed by the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) precipitation radar and in phase with the maximum overshooting occurrence frequency in late afternoon. Two processes potentially responsible for that are identified: (i) non-migrating tides, whose physical nature is internal gravity waves, and (ii) local cross-tropopause mass transport of adiabatically cooled air by overshooting turrets. Although both processes can contribute, only the lofting of adiabatically cooled air is well captured by models, making it difficult to characterize the contribution of non-migrating tides. The impact of deep convection on the temperature diurnal cycle is found larger in the southern tropics, suggesting more vigorous convection over clean rain forest continents than desert areas and polluted continents in the northern tropics.

Final-revised paper