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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-765
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-765
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 09 Sep 2019

Submitted as: research article | 09 Sep 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Response of middle atmospheric temperature to the solar 27-day cycle: an analysis of 13 years of MLS data

Piao Rong1,2,3, Christian von Savigny3, Chunmin Zhang1,2, Christoph G. Hoffmann3, and Michael J. Schwartz4 Piao Rong et al.
  • 1School of Science, Xi'an Jiaotong University, No.28, Xianning West Road, 710049 Xi'an, China
  • 2Institute of Space Optics, Xian Jiaotong University, No.28, Xianning West Road, 710049 Xi'an, China
  • 3Institute of Physics, University of Greifswald, Felix-Hausdorff-Str. 6, 17489 Greifswald, Germany
  • 4Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, 91109 CA, USA

Abstract. This work focuses on studying the presence and characteristics of solar 27-day signatures in middle atmospheric temperature observed by the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) on NASA’s Aura spacecraft. The 27-day signatures in temperature are extracted using the superposed epoch analysis (SEA) technique. We use time-lagged linear regression (sensitivity analysis) and a Monte-Carlo test method (significance test) to explore the dependence of the results on latitude and altitude, on solar activity and season, as well as on different parameters (e.g., smoothing filter, window width and epoch centers). Using different parameters does impact the results to a certain degree, but it does not affect the overall results. Analyzing the 13-year data set shows that highly significant solar 27-day signatures in middle atmospheric temperature are present at many altitudes and latitudes. A tendency to higher temperature sensitivity to solar forcing in the winter hemisphere is found. In addition, the sensitivity of temperature to solar 27-day forcing tends to be larger at high latitudes than at low latitudes. For solar 11-year minimum conditions no statistically significant identification of a solar 27-day signature is possible at most altitudes and latitudes. Several results we obtained suggest that processes other than solar variability drive atmospheric temperature variability at periods around 27-days. Comparisons of the obtained sensitivity values with earlier experimental and model studies show good overall agreement.

Piao Rong et al.
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Short summary
We study the presence and characteristics of solar 27-day signatures in middle atmospheric temperature observed by the Microwave Limb Sounder on NASA’s Aura spacecraft. This is a highly interesting and significant subject because the physical/chemical mechanisms leading to these solar-driven 27-day signatures are, in many cases, not well understood. The analysis shows that highly significant solar 27-day signatures in middle atmospheric temperature are present at many altitudes and latitudes.
We study the presence and characteristics of solar 27-day signatures in middle atmospheric...
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