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Izvestiya, Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 430–438 | Cite as

Tropospheric lapse rate and its relation to surface temperature from reanalysis data

  • I. I. Mokhov
  • M. G. Akperov
Article

Abstract

Estimates of the tropospheric lapse rate γ and analysis of its relation to the surface temperature T s in the annual cycle and interannual variability have been made using the global monthly mean data of the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis (1948–2001). The tropospheric lapse rate γ is about 6.1 K/km in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) as a whole and over the ocean and about 6.2 K/km over the continents. The value of γ decreases from 6.5 K/km at low latitudes to 4.5 K/km at polar latitudes. The values of dγ/dT s, the parameter of sensitivity of γ to the variation of T s for the NH in the interannual variability, are found to be about 0.04 km−1 (0.041 km−1 for the NH as a whole, 0.042 km−1 over the ocean, and 0.038 km−1 over the continents). This corresponds to an increase in γ of approximately 0.7% when the surface temperature of the NH is increased by 1 K. Estimates of dγ/dT s vary from about 0.05 km−1 in the subtropics to 0.10 km−1 at polar latitudes. When dγ/dT s is positive, the surface and tropospheric warming means a temperature decrease above a certain critical level H cr. The height of the level H cr with constant temperature, which is defined by the inverse value (dγ/dT s)−1, is about 25 km for the NH as a whole, i.e., above the tropopause. In the subtropics, H cr is about 20 km. At polar latitudes, H cr decreases to about 10 km. Positive values of dγ/dT s characterize a positive climatic feedback through the lapse rate and indicate a general decrease in the static stability of the troposphere during global warming. Along with a general tendency of γ to increase with rising T s, there are regional regimes with the opposite tendency, mainly over the ocean. The negative correlation of γ with T s is found over the oceanic tropics and midlatitudes, in particular, over the oceanic belt around Antarctica.

Keywords

Lapse Rate Interannual Variability Annual Cycle Reanalysis Data Oceanic Physic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. I. Mokhov
    • 1
  • M. G. Akperov
    • 1
  1. 1.Oboukhov Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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