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The tropopause inversion layer in models and analyses

Birner, T., Sankey, D. and Shepherd, T. G. (2006) The tropopause inversion layer in models and analyses. Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (14). L14804. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2006GL026549


Recent high-resolution radiosonde climatologies have revealed a tropopause inversion layer (TIL) in the extratropics: temperature strongly increases just above a sharp local cold point tropopause. Here, it is asked to what extent a TIL exists in current general circulation models (GCMs) and meteorological analyses. Only a weak hint of a TIL exists in NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data. In contrast, the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model (CMAM), a comprehensive GCM, exhibits a TIL of realistic strength. However, in data assimilation mode CMAM exhibits a much weaker TIL, especially in the Southern Hemisphere where only coarse satellite data are available. The discrepancy between the analyses and the GCM is thus hypothesized to be mainly due to data assimilation acting to smooth the observed strong curvature in temperature around the tropopause. This is confirmed in the reanalysis where the stratification around the tropopause exhibits a strong discontinuity at the start of the satellite era.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:32067
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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