Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/acp-2016-788
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
26 Oct 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Global large-scale stratosphere-troposphere exchange in modern reanalyses
Alexander C. Boothe and Cameron R. Homeyer School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA
Abstract. Stratosphere-troposphere exchange (STE) has important and significant impacts on the chemical and radiative properties of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. This study presents a 15-year climatology of global large-scale STE from four modern reanalyses: ERA-Interim, JRA-55, MERRA-2, and MERRA-1. STE is separated into four categories for analysis to identify the significance of known transport mechanisms: 1) vertical stratosphere-to-troposphere transport (STT), 2) vertical troposphere-to-stratosphere transport (TST), 3) lateral STT (that occurring between the tropics and the extratropics and across the tropopause "break"), and 4) lateral TST.

In addition, this study employs a method to identify STE as that which crosses the lapse-rate tropopause (LRT), while most previous studies have used a potential vorticity (PV) isosurface as the troposphere-stratosphere boundary. PV-based and LRT based STE climatologies are compared using the same reanalysis output (ERA-Interim). The comparison reveals quantitative and qualitative differences, particularly in the geographic representation of TST in the polar regions.

Based upon spatiotemporal integrations, we find STE to be STT-dominant in ERA-Interim and JRA-55 and TST-dominant in the MERRA reanalyses. Time series during the 15-year analysis period show long-term changes that are argued to correspond with changes in the Brewer-Dobson circulation.


Citation: Boothe, A. C. and Homeyer, C. R.: Global large-scale stratosphere-troposphere exchange in modern reanalyses, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-788, in review, 2016.
Alexander C. Boothe and Cameron R. Homeyer
Alexander C. Boothe and Cameron R. Homeyer
Alexander C. Boothe and Cameron R. Homeyer

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Short summary
In this manuscript, we examine global atmospheric transport that impacts chemistry and climate. In particular, we compare exchanges of troposphere and stratosphere air from large-scale processes as depicted from multiple modern reanalysis models (those intending to provide "best guesses" of the global atmospheric state at a given point in time). We find that transport varies considerably amongst the reanalyses and is sensitive to the choice of troposphere-stratosphere boundary.
In this manuscript, we examine global atmospheric transport that impacts chemistry and climate....
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