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Large-scale dynamics of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere: an analysis using the extended Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model

McLandress, C., Ward, W. E., Fomichev, V. I., Semeniuk, K., Beagley, S. R., McFarlane, N. A. and Shepherd, T. G. (2006) Large-scale dynamics of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere: an analysis using the extended Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model. Journal of Geophysical Research, 111 (D17). ISSN 0148-0227

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2005JD006776


The extended Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model is used to investigate the large-scale dynamics of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). It is shown that the 4-day wave is substantially amplified in southern polar winter in the presence of instabilities arising from strong vertical shears in the MLT zonal mean zonal winds brought about by parameterized nonorographic gravity wave drag. A weaker 4-day wave in northern polar winter is attributed to the weaker wind shears that result from weaker parameterized wave drag. The 2-day wave also exhibits a strong dependence on zonal wind shears, in agreement with previous modeling studies. In the equatorial upper mesosphere, the migrating diurnal tide provides most of the resolved westward wave forcing, which varies semiannually in conjunction with the tide itself; resolved forcing by eastward traveling disturbances is dominated by smaller scales. Nonmigrating tides and other planetary-scale waves play only a minor role in the zonal mean zonal momentum budget in the tropics at these heights. Resolved waves are shown to play a significant role in the zonal mean meridional momentum budget in the MLT, impacting significantly on gradient wind balance. Balance fails at low latitudes as a result of a strong Reynolds stress associated with the migrating diurnal tide, an effect which is most pronounced at equinox when the tide is strongest. Resolved and parameterized waves account for most of the imbalance at higher latitudes in summer. This results in the gradient wind underestimating the actual eastward wind reversal by up to 40%.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:32026
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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