Recent developments in observational techniques and the extension of observational networks have enabled the capture of atmospheric phenomena concurrently over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. In addition, global numerical models, including coupled climate models and chemistry climate models, in which data assimilation techniques are implemented, are being extended to higher-altitude regions with greater horizontal and vertical resolutions. These developments allow the examination of atmospheric phenomena over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales in terms of their interactions and momentum/energy budgets. Such observations and models generate considerable amounts of data; thus, methods of data analysis are becoming increasingly important and ”data-centric” science needs to be pursued. In parallel, new theories that can treat various phenomena seamlessly and three-dimensionally are needed, and those able to describe inductively elucidated structures are being constructed. With these circumstances in mind, the International Symposium on the Whole Atmosphere (ISWA) was organized and held on 14-16 September 2016 (http://pansy.eps.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp/iswa/) in order to review the latest research regarding the whole atmosphere. The symposium included particular focus on the dynamics of the middle and upper atmosphere, and discussion on the direction of future research. To share the new and valuable knowledge discussed among the participating communities during the symposium, we have issued this Special Edition on International Symposium on the Whole Atmosphere (ISWA) in SOLA.
Research on the effects of energetic particle precipitation (EPP) on earth's atmosphere is rapidly growing. However, these effects have not been well distinguished from those of other climate forcings. This study extracts EPP effects on the middle atmosphere in the southern hemisphere from the latest reanalysis datasets using multiple regression analysis and composite analysis. Statistically significant temperature anomalies in the winter polar upper stratosphere and lower mesosphere are found, but a simple dynamical signature explaining the anomalies is not evident. On the other hand, it is found that a negative temperature anomaly extending from the polar lower mesosphere to the midlatitude upper stratosphere in July is driven by anomalous Eliassen-Palm flux divergence in the midlatitude lower mesosphere. This result suggests that EPP effects are distinguishable from other climate forcings in the latest reanalysis data.
Abrupt breakdowns of the polar winter stratospheric circulation such as sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) are a manifestation of strong two-way interactions between upward propagating planetary waves and the mean flow. The importance of sufficient upward wave activity fluxes from the troposphere and the preceding state of the stratospheric circulation in forcing SSW-like events have long been recognized. Past research based on idealized numerical simulations has suggested that the state of the stratosphere may be more important in generating extreme stratospheric events than anomalous upward wave fluxes from the troposphere. Other studies have emphasized the role of tropospheric precursor events. Here reanalysis data are used to define events of extreme stratospheric mean flow deceleration (SSWs being a subset) and events of extreme lower tropospheric upward planetary wave activity flux. While the wave fluxes leading to SSW-like events ultimately originate near the surface, the anomalous upward wave activity fluxes associated with these events primarily occur within the stratosphere. The crucial dynamics for forcing SSW-like events appear to take place in the communication layer just above the tropopause. Anomalous upward wave fluxes from the lower troposphere may play a role for some events, but seem less important for the majority of them.
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