- Top of page
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Noise-Reduced Gravity-Wave Signals From AIRS Radiances
- 3. Subtropical SOGWs Over Australia
- 4. Subtropical SOGWs Over Southern Africa
- 5. Summary
 Orographic gravity-wave (OGW) parameterizations in models produce waves over subtropical mountain ranges in Australia and Africa that propagate into the stratosphere during austral winter and deposit momentum, affecting weather and climate. Satellite sensors have measured stratospheric GWs for over a decade, yet find no evidence of these waves. So are parameterizations failing here? Here we argue that the short wavelengths of subtropical OGWs place them near or below the detection limits of satellite sensors. To test this hypothesis, we reanalyze nine years of stratospheric radiances from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite during austral winter, applying new averaging techniques to maximize signal-to-noise and improve thresholds for OGW detection. Deep climatological enhancements in stratospheric OGW variance over specific mountain ranges in Australia and southern Africa are revealed for the first time, which exhibit temporal and vertical variations consistent with predicted OGW responses to varying background winds.