We discuss the global gravity wave (GW) activity expressed by the specific potential energy in the altitude range from 5 km below to 10 km above the tropopause, derived from GPS radio occultation data from CHAMP (2001–2008). The GW analysis is based on vertical detrending of the individual measured temperature profiles by applying a Gaussian filter in two different ways: (i) filtering of the complete temperature profiles and (ii) separate filtering of the profiles for the tropospheric and lower stratospheric parts. The separate filtering method significantly reduces the usually observed wave activity enhancement in the tropopause region which highly depends on the performance of the complete filtering method to reproduce the change in the temperature gradient at the tropopause. We only consider vertical wavelengths less than 10 km. The global mean potential energy in the tropopause region deduced with these different background temperatures will be analyzed, differences will be emphasized and possible error sources of the new method will be considered.