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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  20 May 2020

20 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Self-sustained Oscillations in the Atmosphere (0–110 km) at Long Periods

Dirk Offermann1, Christoph Kalicinsky1, Ralf Koppmann1, and Johannes Wintel1,a Dirk Offermann et al.
  • 1Institut für Atmosphären-und Umweltforschung, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Wuppertal, Germany
  • anow at: Elementar Analysensysteme GmbH, Langenselbold, Germany

Abstract. Self-generated (self-sustained) oscillations have been observed in measured atmospheric data at multi-annual periods. These oscillations are also present in General Circulation Models even if their boundary conditions with respect to solar cycle, sea surface temperature, and trace gas variability are kept constant. The present analysis contains temperature oscillations with periods from below 5 yr up to 341 yr in an altitude range from the Earth’s surface to the lower thermosphere (110 km). The periods are quite robust as they are found to be the same in different model calculations and in atmospheric measurements. The oscillations show vertical profiles with special structures of amplitudes and phases. They form layers of high/low amplitudes that are a few dozen km wide. Within the layers the data are correlated. Adjacent layers are anticorrelated. A vertical displacement mechanism is indicated with displacement heights of a few 100 metres. Vertical profiles of amplitudes and phases of the various oscillation periods as well as their displacement heights are surprisingly similar. The oscillations are related to the thermal and dynamical structure of the middle atmosphere. These results are from latitudes/longitudes in Central Europe.

Dirk Offermann et al.

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Dirk Offermann et al.

Dirk Offermann et al.


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Latest update: 24 Sep 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Atmospheric oscillations with periods up to several 100 years exist at altitudes up to 110 km. They are also seen in computer models (GCM) of the atmospheric. They are often attributed to external influences from the sun, from the oceans, or from atmospheric constituents. This is difficult to verify as the atmosphere cannot be manipulated in an experiment. However, a GCM can be changed arbitrarily! Doing so we find that long period oscillations can be excited internally in the atmosphere.
Atmospheric oscillations with periods up to several 100 years exist at altitudes up to 110 km....