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Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Latitudinal and altitudinal variability of lower atmospheric inertial gravity waves revealed by U.S. radiosonde data

Authors

  • Shao Dong Zhang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Electronic Information School, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
    • Corresponding author: Z. Shaodong, Electronic Information School, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430079, China. (zsd@whu.edu.cn)

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  • Fan Yi,

    1. Electronic Information School, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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  • Chun Ming Huang,

    1. Electronic Information School, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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  • Kai Ming Huang,

    1. Electronic Information School, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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  • Quan Gan,

    1. Electronic Information School, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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  • Ye Hui Zhang,

    1. College of Hydrometeorology, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
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  • Yun Gong

    1. Electronic Information School, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, China
    3. State Observatory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing, Wuhan, China
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Abstract

[1] We adopt a broad spectral data analyzing method to derive the continuous altitude variability of inertial gravity wave (GW) parameter properties in the altitude range of 2–25 km from 11 year (1998–2008) radiosonde observations over 92 United States stations locating in the latitude range from 5°N to 75°N. To our knowledge, this is the first time presenting latitudinal and continuous altitudinal variability of lower atmospheric GW parameters. The presented latitudinal distribution of GW parameters indicates that the wave energy in the troposphere and lower stratosphere peaks, respectively, at the middle and lower latitudes; and at lower latitudes, GWs usually have larger ratios of wave intrinsic frequency to Coriolis parameter, smaller intrinsic frequencies, shorter vertical wavelengths, and longer horizontal wavelengths. Our analyses also revealed continuous altitudinal variations of GW parameters, most of which are closely related to those of the background temperature and wind fields, indicating the important role of background atmosphere in excitation and propagation of GWs. Moreover, our results suggested the profound climatological impacts of GWs on background atmosphere. The GW-induced force tends to decelerate the zonal jet at middle latitudes and produces a negative vertical shear in the northward wind closely above the tropopause altitude. The GW heat flux tends to cool the atmosphere around the tropospheric jet altitude and contributes significantly to the forming of tropospheric inversions at middle latitudes. Additionally, we demonstrated that GW energy densities, momentum, and heat fluxes have evident seasonal variations, especially at middle latitudes.

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