Climate Dynamics

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 1489–1505 | Cite as

TIMED/SABER observations of global gravity wave climatology and their interannual variability from stratosphere to mesosphere lower thermosphere

  • Sherine Rachel John
  • Karanam Kishore KumarEmail author


The present study for the first time reports the global gravity wave activity in terms of their potential energy derived from TIMED/SABER observations right from the stratosphere to the mesosphere lower thermosphere (MLT) region. The potential energy profiles obtained from SABER temperature are validated by comparing them with ground based LIDAR observations over a low latitude site, Gadanki (13.5° N, 79.2° E). The stratospheric and mesospheric global maps of gravity wave energy showed pronounced maxima over high and polar latitudes of the winter hemisphere. The interannual variability of the stratospheric gravity wave activity exhibited prominent annual oscillation over mid-latitudes. The equatorial gravity wave activity exhibited quasi-biennial oscillation in the lower stratosphere and semi-annual oscillation in the upper stratosphere. The MLT region maps revealed summer hemispheric maxima over polar latitudes and secondary maxima over the equatorial region. The results are discussed in the light of present understanding of global gravity wave observations. The significance of the present study lies in emphasizing the importance of satellite measurements in elucidating gravity waves, which is envisaged to have profound impact on parameterizing these waves.


Gravity waves Middle atmospheric dynamics Quasi-biennial oscillation Polar middle atmosphere 



Sherine Rachel John is grateful to ISRO for providing Research Fellowship for her work. The authors are thankful to the TIMED/SABER team for the freely downloadable data, to ECMWF for the ERA-40 wind data, and to NARL, Gadanki, for the Lidar data during the MIDAS period used in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Space Physics LaboratoryVikram Sarabhai Space CentreThiruvananthapuramIndia

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