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Horizontal water vapor transport in the lower stratosphere from subtropics to high latitudes during boreal summer

Author(s): Ploeger, Felix; Günther, Gebhard; Konopka, Paul; Fueglistaler, Stephan; Müller, Rolf; et al

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Abstract: We compare global water vapor observations from Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) and simulations with the Lagrangian chemical transport model CLaMS (Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere) to investigate the pathways of water vapor into the lower stratosphere during Northern Hemisphere (NH) summer. We find good agreement between the simulation and observations, with an effect of the satellite averaging kernel especially at high latitudes. The Asian and American monsoons emerge as regions of particularly high water vapor mixing ratios in the lower stratosphere during boreal summer. In NH midlatitudes and high latitudes, a clear anticorrelation between water vapor and ozone daily tendencies reveals a large region influenced by frequent horizontal transport from low latitudes, extending up to about 450K during summer and fall. Analysis of the zonal mean tracer continuity equation shows that close to the subtropics, this horizontal transport is mainly caused by the residual circulation. In contrast, at higher latitudes, poleward of about 50°N, eddy mixing dominates the horizontal water vapor transport. Model simulations with transport barriers confirm that almost the entire annual cycle of water vapor in NH midlatitudes above about 360K, with maximum mixing ratios during summer and fall, is caused by horizontal transport from low latitudes. In the model, highest water vapor mixing ratios in this region are clearly linked to horizontal transport from the subtropics.
Publication Date: 11-Jul-2013
Citation: Ploeger, Felix, Gebhard Günther, Paul Konopka, Stephan Fueglistaler, Ro Müller, Charlotte Hoppe, Anne Kunz, Reinhold Spang, Jens‐Uwe Grooß, and Martin Riese. "Horizontal water vapor transport in the lower stratosphere from subtropics to high latitudes during boreal summer." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 118, no. 14 (2013): 8111-8127. doi:10.1002/jgrd.50636.
DOI: doi:10.1002/jgrd.50636
ISSN: 2169-897X
EISSN: 2169-8996
Pages: 8111 - 8127
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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