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An overview on AIRS observations of stratospheric gravity waves

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Atmospheric gravity waves transport energy and momentum, contribute to turbulence and mixing, and have significant impact on the mean circulation and thermal structure of the middle atmosphere. Satellite instruments offer an excellent opportunity to study the characteristics of gravity waves on a global scale and on time scales of years to decades. This presentation focuses on gravity wave observations with the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) aboard NASA ’s Aqua satellite. A method to extract information on stratospheric gravity waves from 4.3 micron radiance measurements is described. The method is illustrated for a set of case studies, focusing on the impact of orographic gravity waves on the formation of polar stratospheric clouds. The presentation also covers statistical analyses of a ten-year record of AIRS data, which was used to identify hotspots of stratospheric gravity wave activity on a global scale.

This talk is part of the British Antarctic Survey series.

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