Articles | Volume 17, issue 4
Research article
24 Feb 2017
Research article |  | 24 Feb 2017

A decadal satellite record of gravity wave activity in the lower stratosphere to study polar stratospheric cloud formation

Lars Hoffmann, Reinhold Spang, Andrew Orr, M. Joan Alexander, Laura A. Holt, and Olaf Stein

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Cited articles

AIRS Science Team and Chahine, M.: AIRS/Aqua L1B Infrared (IR) geolocated and calibrated radiances V005, version 005, Greenbelt, MD, USA, Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC), available at: (last access: 31 December 2015), 2007.
Alexander, M. J. and Barnet, C. D.: Using satellite observations to constrain gravity wave parameterizations for global models, J. Atmos. Sci., 64, 1652–1665, 2007.
Alexander, M. J. and Grimsdell, A. W.: Seasonal cycle of orographic gravity wave occurrence above small islands in the Southern Hemisphere: Implications for effects on the general circulation, J. Geophys. Res., 118, 11589–11599, 2013.
Alexander, M. J. and Pfister, L.: Gravity wave momentum flux in the lower stratosphere over convection, Geophys. Res. Lett., 22, 2029–2032, 1995.
Alexander, S. P., Klekociuk, A. R., Pitts, M. C., McDonald, A. J., and Arevalo-Torres, A.: The effect of orographic gravity waves on Antarctic polar stratospheric cloud occurrence and composition, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D06109,, 2011.
Short summary
We introduce a 10-year record (2003–2012) of AIRS/Aqua observations of gravity waves in the polar lower stratosphere. The data set was optimized to study the impact of gravity waves on the formation of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs). We discuss the temporal and spatial patterns of gravity wave activity, validate explicitly resolved small-scale temperature fluctuations in the ECMWF data, and present a survey of gravity-wave-induced PSC formation events using joint AIRS and MIPAS observations.
Final-revised paper