High-resolution atmospheric angular momentum functions related to Earth rotation parameters during CONT08
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Due to the temporal resolution of available numerical weather analyses, the effect of the atmosphere on Earth rotation at daily and sub-daily periods is usually investigated using 6-hourly atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) functions. During the period of CONT08, however, atmospheric analysis data were provided by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) also on an hourly basis. In this paper, we, therefore, determine two sets of AAM functions from ECMWF data—one for CONT08 with hourly resolution and one for the year 2008 with 6-hourly resolution. The comparisons of the AAM functions to high-resolution Earth rotation parameters (ERP) from VLBI and GPS observations are carried out in the frequency domain. Special attention is paid to the preparation of the high-resolution data sets for the geodetic purposes, as there are jump discontinuities at 12 h intervals. Hence, the hourly AAM functions need to be concatenated. The revised functions yield much smaller amplitudes than their 6-hourly counterparts, as can be seen from the equatorial and the axial frequency spectra of atmospheric excitation in Earth rotation. This decrease of spectral power in the hourly AAM functions is found to be associated with a strong counteraction of pressure and wind terms, which originates from atmospheric circulation on short time scales. The results are compared to previous findings published by Brzeziński and Petrov (IERS Tech Note 28:53–60, 2000) based on the data from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).