The middle atmosphere
Shepherd, T. G. (2000) The middle atmosphere. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 62 (17-18). pp. 1587-1601. ISSN 1364-6826
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/S1364-6826(00)00114-0
The last 50 years have seen enormous advances in our knowledge and understanding of the stratosphere and mesosphere, which together comprise the middle atmosphere. Beginning from a phase of basic discovery, we have now reached the stage where most observed phenomena can be modelled from first principles with a reasonable degree of fidelity, and where there is an overall theoretical framework which can be tested against measurements and models. This review surveys a number of major surprises in middle atmosphere science over the past 50 years. A phenomenological and historical approach is adopted in each case, leading up to the current literature. Along the way, a common thread emerges: the central role of waves, of various types, in redistributing angular momentum within the atmosphere, and the global nature of the atmospheric response to such redistribution