Multiple tropopauses in the tropics: A cold point approach

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Abstract

[1] New criteria for the identification of multiple tropopauses (MTs) in the tropics are proposed using COSMIC GPS RO data during 2006–2008 in the tropical belt (±30° latitude) and radiosonde data from 5 tropical stations during 1999 to 2008 in the ±15° latitude. In the present study, we emphasized that many times the WMO definition is not able to identify all the complex structures, such as MTs, and developed alternate criteria to delineate the MTs over the tropics effectively. The new criteria are based on the cold point tropopause (CPT) and its neighborhood points of inflection in the temperature profile rather than on lapse rate, which is used in the WMO definition. The method using the new criteria (called the cold point method) identifies MTs that occur below (referred to as Lower Tropopause, LT) and above (referred to as Second Tropopause, ST; and Third Tropopause, TT) the CPT. The percentage occurrences of MTs determined using the cold point method differ from those found using the WMO definition. The percentage occurrence of MTs within the tropics maximizes at the equator, reaching higher values in the northern hemisphere (NH) summer and lower values in the NH winter. Among the MTs, the percentage occurrence of the ST is the highest, followed by that of the LT. The percentage occurrence of MTs within the tropics also shows large longitudinal variability.

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