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Middle atmospheric water vapour and dynamics in the vicinity of the polar vortex during the Hygrosonde-2 campaign
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
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2009 (English)In: Atmospheric Chemistry And Physics, ISSN 1680-7316, E-ISSN 1680-7324, Vol. 9, 4407-4417 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Hygrosonde-2 campaign took place on 16 December 2001 at Esrange/Sweden (68° N, 21° E) with the aim to investigate the small scale distribution of water vapour in the middle atmosphere in the vicinity of the Arctic polar vortex. In situ balloon and rocket-borne measurements of water vapour were performed by means of OH fluorescence hygrometry. The combined measurements yielded a high resolution water vapour profile up to an altitude of 75 km. Using the characteristic of water vapour being a dynamical tracer it was possible to directly relate the water vapour data to the location of the polar vortex edge, which separates air masses of different character inside and outside the polar vortex. The measurements probed extra-vortex air in the altitude range between 45 km and 60 km and vortex air elsewhere. Transitions between vortex and extra-vortex usually coincided with wind shears caused by gravity waves which advect air masses with different water vapour volume mixing ratios. From the combination of the results from the Hygrosonde-2 campaign and the first flight of the optical hygrometer in 1994 (Hygrosonde-1) a clear picture of the characteristic water vapour distribution inside and outside the polar vortex can be drawn. Systematic differences in the water vapour concentration between the inside and outside of the polar vortex can be observed all the way up into the mesosphere. It is also evident that in situ measurements with high spatial resolution are needed to fully account for the small-scale exchange processes in the polar winter middle atmosphere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 9, 4407-4417 p.
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject
Atmospheric Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25446ISI: 000267984400014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-25446DiVA: diva2:199731
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8167Available from: 2008-09-10 Created: 2008-09-10 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Observations of water vapour in the middle atmosphere
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Observations of water vapour in the middle atmosphere
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas and plays a fundamental role in the climate system and for the chemistry of the Earth's atmosphere. This thesis presents observations of water vapour in the middle atmosphere with a particular focus on the mesosphere. The majority of these observations presented in this thesis have been performed by the Swedish satellite Odin, providing global observations since 2001. Further observations come from the Hygrosonde-2 campaign in December 2001 based on balloon and rocket-borne measurements. A general overview of Odin's water vapour measurements in the middle atmosphere is given. The optimisation of the mesospheric water vapour retrieval is presented in detail.

The analysis of the observations has focused mainly on different dynamical aspects utilising the characteristic of water vapour as a dynamical tracer in the middle atmosphere. One application is the mesospheric part of the semi-annual oscillation (SAO). The observations reveal that this oscillation is the dominant pattern of variability between 30°S and 10°N in the mesosphere up to an altitude of 80 km. Above 90 km the SAO is dominating at all latitudes in the tropics and subtropics. It is shown that the SAO exhibits a distinct phase change between 75 km and 80 km in the tropical region.

This thesis also presents the first satellite observations of water vapour in the altitude range between 90 km and 110 km, extending the observational database up into the lower thermosphere. In the polar regions water vapour exhibits the annual maximum during winter time above 95 km, mainly caused by upwelling during this season. This behaviour is different from that observed in the subjacent part of the mesosphere where the annual maximum occurs during summer time.

The Hygrosonde-2 campaign provided a high resolution measurement of water vapour in the vicinity of the polar vortex edge. This edge prevents horizontal transport causing different water vapour characteristics inside and outside the polar vortex. The observations show that this separating behaviour extends high up into the mesosphere. Small scale transitions in the Hygrosonde-2 profile between conditions inside and outside the vortex coincided with wind shears caused by gravity waves.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Meteorologiska institutionen (MISU), 2008. 63 p.
Keyword
water vapour, mesosphere, stratosphere, dynamics, Odin satellite, limb sounding, microwave, tropics, polar winter
National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject
Meteorology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8167 (URN)978–91–7155–721–6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-09-19, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 A, Stockholm, 13:00
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Available from: 2008-09-10 Created: 2008-09-10Bibliographically approved

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