GRACILE: A comprehensive climatology of atmospheric gravity wave parameters based on satellite limb soundings
Earth System Dynamics Discussions
Gravity waves are one of the main drivers of atmospheric dynamics. The spatial resolution of most global atmospheric models, however, is too coarse to properly resolve the small scales of gravity waves, which range from tens to a few thousand kilometers horizontally, and from below 1&thinsp;km to tens of kilometers vertically. Gravity wave source processes involve even smaller scales. Therefore, general circulation models (GCMs) and chemistry climate models (CCMs) usually parametrize the
... parametrize the effect of gravity waves on the global circulation. These parametrizations are very simplified. For this reason, comparisons with global observations of gravity waves are needed for an improvement of parametrizations and an alleviation of model biases. <br><br> We present a gravity wave climatology based on atmospheric infrared limb emissions observed by satellite (GRACILE). GRACILE is a global data set of gravity wave distributions observed in the stratosphere and the mesosphere by the infrared limb sounding satellite instruments High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HIRDLS) and Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER). Typical distributions (zonal averages and global maps) of gravity wave vertical wavelengths and along-track horizontal wavenumbers are provided, as well as gravity wave temperature variances, potential energies and absolute momentum fluxes. This global data set captures the typical seasonal variations of these parameters, as well as their spatial variations. The GRACILE data set is suitable for scientific studies, and it can serve for comparison with other instruments (ground based, airborne, or other satellite instruments) and for comparison with gravity wave distributions, both resolved and parametrized, in GCMs and CCMs. The GRACILE data set is available as supplementary data at <a href="https://doi.org/doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.879658" target ="_blank">https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.879658</a>.