Journal article

Atmospheric diurnal variations observed with GPS radio occultation soundings

Xie F, Wu D, Ao C, Mannucci A ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 10, issue 14 (2010) pp. 6889-6899

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The diurnal variation, driven by solar forcing, is a fundamental mode in
the Earth's weather and climate system. Radio occultation (RO)
measurements from the six COSMIC satellites (Constellation Observing
System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate) provide nearly uniform
global coverage with high vertical resolution, all-weather and diurnal
sampling capability. This paper analyzes the diurnal variations of
temperature and refractivity from three-year (2007-2009) COSMIC RO
measurements in the troposphere and stratosphere between 30 degrees S
and 30 degrees N. The RO observations reveal both propagating and
trapped vertical structures of diurnal variations, including transition
regions near the tropopause where data with high vertical resolution are
critical. In the tropics the diurnal amplitude in refractivity shows the
minimum around 14 km and increases to a local maximum around 32 km in
the stratosphere. The upward propagating component of the migrating
diurnal tides in the tropics is clearly captured by the GPS RO
measurements, which show a downward progression in phase from
stratopause to the upper troposphere with a vertical wavelength of about
25 km. At similar to 32 km the seasonal variation of the tidal amplitude
maximizes at the opposite side of the equator relative to the solar
forcing. The vertical structure of tidal amplitude shows strong seasonal
variations and becomes asymmetric along the equator and tilted toward
the summer hemisphere in the solstice months. Such asymmetry becomes
less prominent in equinox months.

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  • F. Xie

  • D. L. Wu

  • C. O. Ao

  • A. J. Mannucci

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