Global ray tracing simulations of the SABER gravity wave climatology

  • Preusse P
  • Eckermann S
  • Ern M
 et al. 
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Since February 2002, the SABER (sounding of the atmosphere using
broadband emission radiometry) satellite instrument has measured
temperatures throughout the entire middle atmosphere. Employing the same
techniques as previously used for CRISTA (cryogenic infrared
spectrometers and telescopes for the atmosphere), we deduce from SABER
V1.06 data 5 years of gravity wave (GW) temperature variances from
altitudes of 20 to 100 km. A typical annual cycle is presented by
calculating averages for the individual calendar months. Findings are
consistent with previous results from various satellite missions. Based
on zonal mean, SABER data for July and zonal mean GW momentum flux from
CRISTA, a homogeneous and isotropic launch distribution for the GROGRAT
(gravity wave regional or global ray tracer) is tuned. The launch
distribution contains different phase speed mesoscale waves, some of
very high-phase speed and extremely low amplitudes, as well as waves
with horizontal wavelengths of several thousand kilometers. Global maps
for different seasons and altitudes, as well as time series of zonal
mean GW squared amplitudes based on this launch distribution, match the
observations well. Based on this realistic observation-tuned model run,
we calculate quantities that cannot be measured directly and are
speculated to be major sources of uncertainty in current GW
parameterization schemes. Two examples presented in this paper are the
average cross-latitude propagation of GWs and the relative acceleration
contributions provided by saturation and dissipation, on the one hand,
and the horizontal refraction of GWs by horizontal gradients of the mean
flow, on the other hand.

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