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Geophysical Monograph Series

 

Keywords

  • Stratosphere
  • Whirlwinds
  • Dynamic meteorology
  • gravitywaves
  • stratosphere
  • generalcirculation
  • satelliteobservations
  • climatechange
  • parameterization

Index Terms

  • 3334 Atmospheric Processes: Middle atmosphere dynamics
  • 3319 Atmospheric Processes: General circulation
  • 3384 Atmospheric Processes: Acoustic-gravity waves

Article

GEOPHYSICAL MONOGRAPH SERIES, VOL. 190, PP. 109-121, 2010

Gravity waves in the stratosphere

M. Joan Alexander

Colorado Research Associates Division, North West Research Associates, Boulder, Colorado, USA


This chapter presents a review of some recent research highlighting direct gravity wave effects in the stratosphere. In the last 20 years, our understanding of the range of these effects has grown in tandem with improvements in resolution in both observations and models. The effects include gravity wave driving of the general circulation, temperature structure and related effects on polar ozone chemistry, and effects on ice clouds. Recent observations of gravity waves in the stratosphere that help to quantify these effects are also highlighted. The observations are giving the picture of a collection of events, occurring sporadically in localized wave packets, superimposed on a weaker background spectrum of waves. Finally, new information on the sources of gravity waves gleaned from both the observations and wave-resolving models is also summarized. The improved knowledge of these sources is expected to lead to advances in gravity wave parameterizations in global climate models that will permit more realistic feedback between the waves and future climate change.

Citation: Alexander, M. J. (2010), Gravity waves in the stratosphere, in The Stratosphere: Dynamics, Transport, and Chemistry, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 190, edited by L. M. Polvani, A. H. Sobel, and D. W. Waugh, pp. 109–121, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2009GM000864.

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