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Keywords:

  • tropopause inversion layer;
  • GPS radio occultation;
  • MOZAIC data

[1] In this study we discuss characteristics of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) midlatitude (40°N–60°N) tropopause inversion layer (TIL) based on two data sets. First, temperature measurements from GPS radio occultation data (CHAMP and GRACE) for the time interval 2001–2009 are used to exhibit seasonal properties of the TIL bottom height defined here as the height of the squared buoyancy frequency minimum N2 below the thermal tropopause, the TIL maximum height as the height of the N2 maximum above the tropopause, and the TIL top height as the height of the temperature maximum above the tropopause. Mean values of the TIL bottom, TIL maximum, and TIL top heights relative to the thermal tropopause for the NH midlatitudes are (−2.08 ± 0.35) km, (0.52 ± 0.10) km and (2.10 ± 0.23) km, respectively. A seasonal cycle of the TIL bottom and TIL top height is observed with values closer to the thermal tropopause during summer. Secondly, high-resolution temperature and trace gas profile measurements on board commercial aircrafts (Measurement of Ozone and Water Vapor by Airbus In-Service Aircraft (MOZAIC) program) from 2001–2008 for the NH midlatitude (40°N–60°N) region are used to characterize the TIL as a mixing layer around the tropopause. Mean TIL bottom, TIL maximum, and TIL top heights based on the MOZAIC temperature (N2) measurements confirm the results from the GPS data, even though most of the MOZAIC profiles used here are available under cyclonic situations. Further, we demonstrate that the mixing ratio gradients of ozone (O3) and carbon monoxide (CO) are suitable parameters for characterizing the TIL structure.