Forcing mechanisms of the migrating quarterdiurnal tide

Geißler, Christoph; Jacobi, Christoph; Lilienthal, Friederike

We used a nonlinear mechanistic global circulation model to analyze the migrating quarterdiurnal tide (QDT) in the middle atmosphere with focus on its possible forcing mechanisms: the absorption of solar radiation by ozone and water vapor, nonlinear tidal interactions, and gravity wave–tide interactions. We show a climatology of the QDT amplitudes, and we examine the contribution of the different forcing mechanisms to the QDT amplitude. To this end, we first extracted the QDT from the model tendency terms and then removed the respective QDT contribution from the different tendency terms. We find that the solar forcing mechanism is the most important one for the QDT; however, the nonlinear and gravity wave forcing mechanisms also play a role in autumn and winter, particularly at lower and middle latitudes in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. Furthermore, destructive interference between the individual forcing mechanisms is observed. Therefore, tidal amplitudes become even larger in simulations with the nonlinear or gravity wave forcing mechanisms removed.

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Geißler, Christoph / Jacobi, Christoph / Lilienthal, Friederike: Forcing mechanisms of the migrating quarterdiurnal tide. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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