Gravity wave effects on circulation



[1] AGU Chapman Conference on Atmospheric Gravity Waves and Their Effects on General Circulation and Climate; Honolulu, Hawaii, 28 February to 4 March 2011; Atmospheric gravity waves account for a significant fraction of the observed variability in the atmosphere with periods from tens of minutes to tens of hours. The wind and temperature variances associated with high-frequency gravity waves are generally observed to increase with height from near the ground up to the lower thermosphere, and studies of gravity waves in the upper atmosphere have been a staple of middle and upper atmospheric dynamics for many years. Gravity waves act to exchange mean horizontal momentum between the Earth's surface and the atmosphere and among different layers of the atmosphere, and so they play a role in forcing global-scale atmospheric circulation. Recent work on dynamical coupling of the troposphere with the middle atmosphere has made it clear that gravity waves have a significant influence on the general circulation even in the lower atmosphere, and so global climate simulation models need to adequately treat the effects of atmospheric gravity waves that are not explicitly resolved.