Tropopause and hygropause variability over the equatorial Indian Ocean during February and March 1999.

MacKenzie, A. R. and Schiller, C. and Peter, Th. and Adriani, A. and Beuermann, J. and Bujok, O. and Cairo, F. and Corti, T. and DiDonfrancesco, G. and Gensch, I. and Kiemle, C. and Kramer, M. and Kroeger, C. and Merkulov, S. and Oulanovsky, A. and Ravegnani, F. and Rohs, S. and Rudakov, V. and Salter, P. and Santacesaria, V. and Stefanutti, L. and Yushkov, V. (2006) Tropopause and hygropause variability over the equatorial Indian Ocean during February and March 1999. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 111 (D18): D18112. ISSN 0747-7309

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Measurements of temperature, water vapor, total water, ozone, and cloud properties were made above the western equatorial Indian Ocean in February and March 1999. The cold-point tropopause was at a mean pressure-altitude of 17 km, equivalent to a potential temperature of 380 K, and had a mean temperature of 190 K. Total water mixing ratios at the hygropause varied between 1.4 and 4.1 ppmv. The mean saturation water vapor mixing ratio at the cold point was 3.0 ppmv. This does not accurately represent the mean of the measured total water mixing ratios because the air was unsaturated at the cold point for about 40% of the measurements. As well as unsaturation at the cold point, saturation was observed above the cold point on almost 30% of the profiles. In such profiles the air was saturated with respect to water ice but was free of clouds (i.e., backscatter ratio <2) at potential temperatures more than 5 K above the tropopause and hygropause. Individual profiles show a great deal of variability in the potential temperatures of the cold point and hygropause. We attribute this to short timescale and space-scale perturbations superimposed on the seasonal cycle. There is neither a clear and consistent “setting” of the tropopause and hygropause to the same altitude by dehydration processes nor a clear and consistent separation of tropopause and hygropause by the Brewer-Dobson circulation. Similarly, neither the tropopause nor the hygropause provides a location where conditions consistently approach those implied by a simple “tropopause freeze drying” or “stratospheric fountain” hypothesis.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Additional Information:
An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2006 American Geophysical Union.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? tropopausestratosphereozonewater vapourcirrusgeophysicaq science (general) ??
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Deposited On:
28 Jul 2006
Last Modified:
15 Jan 2024 00:06