Articles | Volume 8, issue 4
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 845–869, 2008
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 845–869, 2008

  21 Feb 2008

21 Feb 2008

Equatorial wave analysis from SABER and ECMWF temperatures

M. Ern1, P. Preusse1, M. Krebsbach1,*, M. G. Mlynczak2, and J. M. Russell III3 M. Ern et al.
  • 1Institute of Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere (ICG-1), Forschungszentrum Juelich, Juelich, Germany
  • 2Atmospheric Sciences Division, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, USA
  • 3Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Hampton University, Hampton, VA, USA
  • *now at: Department of Physics, University of Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany

Abstract. Equatorial planetary scale wave modes such as Kelvin waves or Rossby-gravity waves are excited by convective processes in the troposphere. In this paper an analysis for these and other equatorial wave modes is carried out with special focus on the stratosphere using temperature data from the SABER satellite instrument as well as ECMWF temperatures. Space-time spectra of symmetric and antisymmetric spectral power are derived to separate the different equatorial wave types and the contribution of gravity waves is determined from the spectral background of the space-time spectra.

Both gravity waves and equatorial planetary scale wave modes are main drivers of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the stratosphere. Temperature variances attributed to the different wave types are calculated for the period from February 2002 until March 2006 and compared to previous findings. A comparison between SABER and ECMWF wave analyses shows that in the lower stratosphere SABER and ECMWF spectra and temperature variances agree remarkably well while in the upper stratosphere ECMWF tends to overestimate Kelvin wave components. Gravity wave variances are partly reproduced by ECMWF but have a significant low-bias. For the examples of a QBO westerly phase (October–December 2004) and a QBO easterly phase (November/December 2005, period of the SCOUT-O3 tropical aircraft campaign in Darwin/Australia) in the lower stratosphere we find qualitatively good agreement between SABER and ECMWF in the longitude-time distribution of Kelvin, Rossby (n=1), and Rossby-gravity waves.

Final-revised paper