Articles | Volume 20, issue 24
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 15585–15616, 2020
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 15585–15616, 2020

Research article 15 Dec 2020

Research article | 15 Dec 2020

Reappraising the appropriate calculation of a common meteorological quantity: potential temperature

Manuel Baumgartner et al.

Related authors

In situ observation of new particle formation (NPF) in the tropical tropopause layer of the 2017 Asian monsoon anticyclone – Part 2: NPF inside ice clouds
Ralf Weigel, Christoph Mahnke, Manuel Baumgartner, Martina Krämer, Peter Spichtinger, Nicole Spelten, Armin Afchine, Christian Rolf, Silvia Viciani, Francesco D'Amato, Holger Tost, and Stephan Borrmann
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 13455–13481,,, 2021
Short summary
In situ observation of new particle formation (NPF) in the tropical tropopause layer of the 2017 Asian monsoon anticyclone – Part 1: Summary of StratoClim results
Ralf Weigel, Christoph Mahnke, Manuel Baumgartner, Antonis Dragoneas, Bärbel Vogel, Felix Ploeger, Silvia Viciani, Francesco D'Amato, Silvia Bucci, Bernard Legras, Beiping Luo, and Stephan Borrmann
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 11689–11722,,, 2021
Short summary
High Homogeneous Freezing Onsets of Sulfuric Acid Aerosol at Cirrus Temperatures
Julia Schneider, Kristina Höhler, Robert Wagner, Harald Saathoff, Martin Schnaiter, Tobias Schorr, Isabelle Steinke, Stefan Benz, Manuel Baumgartner, Christian Rolf, Martina Krämer, Thomas Leisner, and Ottmar Möhler
Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,,, 2021
Revised manuscript accepted for ACP
Short summary
New investigations on homogeneous ice nucleation: the effects of water activity and water saturation formulations
Manuel Baumgartner, Christian Rolf, Jens-Uwe Grooß, Julia Schneider, Tobias Schorr, Ottmar Möhler, Peter Spichtinger, and Martina Krämer
Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,,, 2021
Preprint under review for ACP
Short summary
On numerical broadening of particle size spectra: a condensational growth study using PyMPDATA 1.0
Michael Olesik, Sylwester Arabas, Jakub Banaśkiewicz, Piotr Bartman, Manuel Baumgartner, and Simon Unterstrasser
Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.,,, 2021
Preprint under review for GMD

Related subject area

Subject: Dynamics | Research Activity: Atmospheric Modelling | Altitude Range: Stratosphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
The Brewer–Dobson circulation in CMIP6
Marta Abalos, Natalia Calvo, Samuel Benito-Barca, Hella Garny, Steven C. Hardiman, Pu Lin, Martin B. Andrews, Neal Butchart, Rolando Garcia, Clara Orbe, David Saint-Martin, Shingo Watanabe, and Kohei Yoshida
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 13571–13591,,, 2021
Short summary
Climate impact of volcanic eruptions: the sensitivity to eruption season and latitude in MPI-ESM ensemble experiments
Zhihong Zhuo, Ingo Kirchner, Stephan Pfahl, and Ulrich Cubasch
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 13425–13442,,, 2021
Short summary
Contributions of equatorial waves and small-scale convective gravity waves to the 2019/20 quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) disruption
Min-Jee Kang and Hye-Yeong Chun
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 9839–9857,,, 2021
Short summary
Differences in the quasi-biennial oscillation response to stratospheric aerosol modification depending on injection strategy and species
Henning Franke, Ulrike Niemeier, and Daniele Visioni
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 8615–8635,,, 2021
Short summary
The advective Brewer–Dobson circulation in the ERA5 reanalysis: climatology, variability, and trends
Mohamadou Diallo, Manfred Ern, and Felix Ploeger
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 7515–7544,,, 2021
Short summary

Cited articles

Ambaum, M. H. P.: Thermal Physics of the Atmosphere, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, UK,, 2010. a, b, c
Awano, S.: JS-Diagrams for Air, Report of Aeronautical Research Institute, Tokyo Imperial University, 11, available at: (last access: 11 December 2020), 1936. a, b, c
Bauer, L. A.: The relation between “potential temperature” and “entropy”, Phys. Rev., 26, 177–183, 1908. a
Bohren, C., Albrecht, B., and Albrecht, P.: Atmospheric Thermodynamics, Oxford University Press, New York, USA, Oxford, UK, 1998. a
Bolton, D.: The Computation of Equivalent Potential Temperature, Mon. Weather Rev., 108, 1046–1053,<1046:TCOEPT>2.0.CO;2, 1980. a
Short summary
The potential temperature is routinely used in atmospheric science. We review its derivation and suggest a new potential temperature, based on a temperature-dependent parameterization of the dry air's specific heat capacity. Moreover, we compare the new potential temperature to the common one and discuss the differences which become more important at higher altitudes. Finally, we indicate some consequences of using the new potential temperature in typical applications.
Final-revised paper