DRAGON-WEX: the Drake Passage and Southern Ocean wave experiment
We are measuring atmospheric waves with satellites and radars to improve weather forecast and climate models.
We have developed a new powerful 3D satellite analysis method to detect individual gravity waves in the stratosphere. Using only one satellite, it can determine:
- propagation direction
- directional momentum flux
This makes our method much more capable than previous methods.
Our project is the first to use such a method to detect ~ 100,000 individual gravity waves over the Drake Passage and Southern Ocean near 60°S. This is a region where “missing” gravity-wave momentum flux in Global Circulation Models leads to the stratospheric cold-pole problem. And one where we know very little about the wave fluxes, sources and intermittency (variability).
We are measuring the wave climatology, fluxes and intermittency of the waves and investigating their sources. We are complementing these measurements with data from radiosondes in the troposphere/lower-stratosphere and from two meteor radars sounding the mesosphere. One of these radars is at Rothera on the Antarctic Peninsula and the second, which is the first such radar, on the remote mountainous island of South Georgia.