Middle Atmosphere Variability and Model Uncertainties as Investigated in the Framework of the ARISE Project

  • Elisabeth BlancEmail author
  • Katy Pol
  • Alexis Le Pichon
  • Alain Hauchecorne
  • Philippe Keckhut
  • Gerd Baumgarten
  • Jens Hildebrand
  • Josef Höffner
  • Gunter Stober
  • Robert Hibbins
  • Patrick Espy
  • Markus Rapp
  • Bernd Kaifler
  • Lars Ceranna
  • Patrick Hupe
  • Jonas Hagen
  • Rolf Rüfenacht
  • Niklaus Kämpfer
  • Pieter Smets


The middle atmosphere (from about 10–110 km altitude) is a highly variable environment at seasonal and sub-seasonal timescales. This variability influences the general atmospheric circulation through the propagation and breaking of planetary and gravity waves. Multi-instrument observations, performed in the framework of the ARISE (Atmospheric Dynamics Research InfraStructure in Europe) project, are used to quantify uncertainties in Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models such as the one of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). We show the potential of routine and measurement campaigns to monitor the evolution of the middle atmosphere and demonstrate the limitations of NWP models to properly depict small-scale atmospheric disturbances. Continuous lidar and radar measurements conducted over several days at ALOMAR provide a unique high-resolution full description of solar tides and small-scale structures. Nightly averaged lidar profiles routinely performed in fair weather conditions at the Observatoire Haute-Provence (OHP) and Maïdo observatory (Reunion Island) provide a year-to-year evolution of stratosphere and mesosphere temperature profiles. Routine meteor radar observations depict the evolution of wind profiles and solar tides in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. With the recent development of the portable Compact Rayleigh Autonomous Lidar (CORAL) which automatically measures temperature profiles at high temporal resolution, the possibility of combining different instruments at different places is now offered, promising the expansion of multi-instrument stations in the near future. Through a better description of infrasound propagation in the middle atmosphere and stratosphere–troposphere couplings, these new middle atmosphere datasets are relevant for infrasound monitoring operations, as well as for weather forecasting and other civil applications.



This work was partly performed during the course of the ARISE design study project, funded by the European Community’s Horizon 2020 program under grant agreement 653980. We thank Gerard Rambolamanana and the team of the Institut and Geophysics Observatory of Antananarivo (Madagascar). The Madagascar infrasound results would not have been possible without their involvement. We thank M Gausa and JP Camas from Alomar and Maïdo observatories and D. Fritts for relevant comments on this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Blanc
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katy Pol
    • 1
  • Alexis Le Pichon
    • 1
  • Alain Hauchecorne
    • 2
  • Philippe Keckhut
    • 2
  • Gerd Baumgarten
    • 3
  • Jens Hildebrand
    • 3
  • Josef Höffner
    • 3
  • Gunter Stober
    • 3
  • Robert Hibbins
    • 4
  • Patrick Espy
    • 4
  • Markus Rapp
    • 5
  • Bernd Kaifler
    • 5
  • Lars Ceranna
    • 6
  • Patrick Hupe
    • 6
  • Jonas Hagen
    • 7
  • Rolf Rüfenacht
    • 7
  • Niklaus Kämpfer
    • 7
  • Pieter Smets
    • 8
    • 9
  1. 1.CEA, DAM, DIFArpajonFrance
  2. 2.LATMOS-IPSLGuyancourtFrance
  3. 3.Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Rostock UniversityKühlungsbornGermany
  4. 4.Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  5. 5.DLR, German Aerospace CenterOberpfaffenhofenGermany
  6. 6.Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural ResourcesHannoverGermany
  7. 7.Institute of Applied Physics, University of BernBernSwitzerland
  8. 8.Department of Seismology and AcousticsKNMIDe BiltNetherlands
  9. 9.Department of Geoscience and EngineeringDelft University of TechnologyDelftNetherlands

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