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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1040
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1040
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 15 Nov 2018

Research article | 15 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Climatology of the mesopause density using a global distribution of meteor radars

Wen Yi1,2, Xianghui Xue1,2,5, Iain M. Reid3,4, Damian J. Murphy6, Chris M. Hall7, Masaki Tsutsumi8, Baiqi Ning9, Guozhu Li9, Robert A. Vincent3,4, Jingsong Chen10, Jianfei Wu1,2, Tingdi Chen1,2, and Xiankang Dou1 Wen Yi et al.
  • 1CAS Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment, Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 2Mengcheng National Geophysical Observatory, School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 3ATRAD Pty Ltd., Thebarton, South Australia, Australia
  • 4School of Physical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  • 5Synergetic Innovation Center of Quantum Information and Quantum Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 6Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania, Australia
  • 7Tromsø Geophysical Observatory, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  • 8National Institute of Polar Research, Tachikawa, Japan
  • 9Key Laboratory of Earth and Planetary Physics, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 10National Key Laboratory of Electromagnetic Environment, China Research Institute of Radiowave Propagation, Qingdao, China

Abstract. The existing distribution of meteor radars located from high- to low-latitude regions provides a favourable temporal and spatial coverage for investigating the climatology of the global mesopause density. In this study, we report the climatology of the mesopause density estimated using multiyear observations from nine meteor radars, namely, the Davis Station (68.6° S, 77.9° E), Svalbard (78.3° N, 16° E) and Tromsø (69.6° N, 19.2° E) meteor radars located at high latitudes, the Mohe (53.5° N, 122.3° E), Beijing (40.3° N, 116.2° E), Mengcheng (33.4° N, 116.6° E) and Wuhan (30.5° N, 114.6° E) meteor radars located in the mid-latitudes, and the Kunming (25.6° N, 103.8° E) and Darwin (12.3° S, 130.8° E) meteor radars located at low latitudes. The daily mean density was estimated using ambipolar diffusion coefficients derived from the meteor radars and temperatures from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) on board the Aura satellite. The seasonal variations in the Davis Station meteor radar densities in the southern polar mesopause are mainly dominated by an annual oscillation (AO). The mesopause densities observed by the Svalbard and Tromsø meteor radars at high latitudes and the Mohe and Beijing meteor radars at high mid-latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere show mainly an AO and a relatively weak semiannual oscillation (SAO). The mesopause densities observed by the Mengcheng and Wuhan meteor radars at lower mid-latitudes and the Kunming and Darwin meteor radars at low latitudes show mainly an AO. The SAO is evident in the Northern Hemisphere, especially at high latitudes, and its largest amplitude, which is detected at the Tromsø meteor radar, is comparable to the AO amplitudes. These observations indicate that the mesopause densities over the southern and northern high latitudes exhibit a clear seasonal asymmetry. The maxima of the yearly variations in the mesopause densities display a clear temporal variation across the spring equinox as the latitude decreases; these latitudinal variation characteristics may be related to latitudinal changes influenced by gravity wave forcing. In addition to an AO, the mesopause densities over low latitudes also clearly show a variation with a periodicity of 30–60 days related to the Madden-Julian oscillation in the subtropical troposphere.

Wen Yi et al.
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Short summary
The seasonal variations in the mesopause densities, especially with regard to its global structure are still unclear. In this study, we report the climatology of the mesopause density estimated using multiyear observations from nine meteor radars from Arctic to Antarctic latitudes. The results reveal an significant AO and SAO in mesopause density, an asymmetry between the two polar regions and evidence of intra-seasonal oscillations, perhaps associated with the ISOs of the troposphere.
The seasonal variations in the mesopause densities, especially with regard to its global...
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