Journal cover Journal topic
Annales Geophysicae An open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Ann. Geophys., 24, 1355-1366, 2006
© Author(s) 2006. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
03 Jul 2006
Long-term behavior of the Kelvin waves revealed by CHAMP/GPS RO measurements and their effects on the tropopause structure
M. Venkat Ratnam1, T. Tsuda1, T. Kozu2, and S. Mori3 1Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere (RISH), Kyoto University, Uji, Japan
2Faculty of Science and Engineering, Shimane University, Nishi-kawatsu Matsue, Japan
3Institute of Observational Research for Global Change (IORGC), Yokohama-city, Japan
Abstract. The vertical and temporal variations of Kelvin waves and the associated effects on the tropical tropopause were studied using long-term (from May 2001 to October 2005) CHAMP/GPS (CHAllenging Mini satellite Payload/Global Positioning System) radio occultation (RO) measurements. The periods of these waves were found to be varying in between 10 and 15 days, with vertical wavelengths 5–8 km. These variations clearly show eastward phase propagation in the time-longitude section and eastward phase tilts with height in altitude-longitude, displaying the characteristics of Kelvin waves. The peak variance in the temperature is found over the Indian Ocean and into the western Pacific within the broad region of the equator. Kelvin wave amplitudes were found significantly enhanced in the eastward shear of the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) and are confined in and around the tropopause during westward phase of QBO, where it extends between 17 and 25 km during the eastward phase of QBO and is damped away above, consistent with earlier reported results. The amplitudes are increasing during the months of Northern Hemisphere winter and sometimes they are highly sporadic in nature. Seasonal and inter-annual variations in the Kelvin wave amplitudes near the tropical tropopause coincide exactly with the tropopause height and temperature, with a sharp tropopause during maximum Kelvin wave activity. A clear annual oscillation, along with a month-to-month coincidence is evident most of the time in both the tropopause height and Kelvin wave activity, with maximum and minimum Kelvin wave amplitudes during the Northern Hemisphere winter and summer, respectively. In addition, a signature of quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the tropopause structure is also seen in long-term tropopause variations, although the amplitudes are less when compared to the annual oscillation. In the westward phase of QBO (during strong Kelvin wave activity) at 20km (in 2001–2002 winter and 2003–2004 winter), the tropopause height was slightly larger with a sharp tropopause and low temperature. The process behind these observed features has been discussed.

Citation: Venkat Ratnam, M., Tsuda, T., Kozu, T., and Mori, S.: Long-term behavior of the Kelvin waves revealed by CHAMP/GPS RO measurements and their effects on the tropopause structure, Ann. Geophys., 24, 1355-1366,, 2006.
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