Articles | Volume 21, issue 18
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 13763–13795, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-21-13763-2021
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 13763–13795, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-21-13763-2021
Research article
16 Sep 2021
Research article | 16 Sep 2021

The semiannual oscillation (SAO) in the tropical middle atmosphere and its gravity wave driving in reanalyses and satellite observations

Manfred Ern et al.

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Cited articles

Alexander, M. J.: Global and seasonal variations in three-dimensional gravity wave momentum flux from satellite limb-sounding temperatures, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 6860–6867, https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GL065234, 2015. a
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Alexander, M. J., Geller, M., McLandress, C., Polavarapu, S., Preusse, P., Sassi, F., Sato, K., Eckermann, S. D., Ern, M., Hertzog, A., Kawatani, Y., Pulido, M., Shaw, T., Sigmond, M., Vincent, R., and Watanabe, S.: Recent developments in gravity-wave effects in climate models and the global distribution of gravity-wave momentum flux from observations and models, Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 136, 1103–1124, https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.637, 2010. a
Andrews, D. G., Holton, J. R., and Leovy, C. B.: Middle atmosphere dynamics, Academic Press, Orlando, Fl., 489 pp., 1987. a, b
Anstey, J. A. and Shepherd, T. G.: High-latitude influence of the quasi-biennial oscillation, Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 140, 1–21, 2014. a
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Short summary
Details of the driving of the semiannual oscillation (SAO) of the tropical winds in the middle atmosphere are still not known. We investigate the SAO and its driving by small-scale gravity waves (GWs) using satellite data and different reanalyses. In a large altitude range, GWs mainly drive the SAO westerlies, but in the upper mesosphere GWs seem to drive both SAO easterlies and westerlies. Reanalyses reproduce some features of the SAO but are limited by model-inherent damping at upper levels.
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