December 1, 2020 - 11:00 am
December 1, 2020 - 12:00 pm
CategoriesSchool of Meteorology (Defense)
School of Meteorology MS Thesis Defense
A 13-year Trajectory-Based Analysis of Convection-Driven Changes in Upper Troposphere Lower Stratosphere Composition over the United States
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
11:00 am CST
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Meeting ID: 939 7029 3102
Moist convection frequently reaches the tropopause and alters the distribution and concentration of radiatively important trace gases in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS), but the overall impact of convection on regional and global UTLS composition remains largely unknown. To improve understanding of convection-driven changes in water vapor (H2O), ozone (O3), and carbon monoxide (CO) in the UTLS, this study utilizes 13 years of observations of satellite-based trace gas profiles from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) aboard the Aura satellite and convection from the operational network of ground-based weather radars in the United States. Locations with and without convection identified via radar are matched with downstream MLS observations through three-dimensional, kinematic forward trajectories, providing two populations with unprecedented sampling of trace gas observations for analysis. These populations are further classified as belonging to extratropical or tropical environments based on the tropopause pressure at the MLS profile location. Extratropical regions are further separated by tropopause type (single or double), revealing differing impacts. Results show that convection typically moistens the UT by up to 300% and the LS by up to 100%, largely reduces O3 by up to 40%, and increases CO by up to 50%. Changes in H2O and O3 are robust, with LS O3 reduced more by convection within tropical environments, where the median concentration decrease is 34% at ~2 km above tropopause, compared to 24% in extratropical environments. Quantification of CO changes from convection is less reliable due to differences being near the MLS measurement precision and accuracy.