Articles | Volume 23, issue 7
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-23-4009-2023
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-23-4009-2023
Research article
 | 
05 Apr 2023
Research article |  | 05 Apr 2023

Aircraft observations of gravity wave activity and turbulence in the tropical tropopause layer: prevalence, influence on cirrus clouds, and comparison with global storm-resolving models

Rachel Atlas and Christopher S. Bretherton

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Latest update: 19 Apr 2024
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Short summary
The tropical tropopause layer exists between the troposphere and the stratosphere in the tropics. Very thin cirrus clouds cool Earth's surface by scrubbing water vapor (a greenhouse gas) out of air parcels as they ascend through the tropical tropopause layer on their way to the stratosphere. We show observational evidence from aircraft that small-scale (< 100 km) gravity waves and turbulence increase the amount of ice in these clouds and may allow them to remove more water vapor from the air.
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