RAPID: In-situ Observations to Characterize Multi-Scale Turbulent Atmospheric Processes Impacting Climate at Southern High Latitudes
Observations of Turbulent Atmospheric Processes at Southern High Latitudes
This is an international collaboration between the University of Colorado, the University of Kyoto, and the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) in Tokyo, to carry out a 40-day observational field campaign as part of the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) to Syowa station (690S, 400E) located on the eastern Antarctic coast. This campaign will deploy 44 custom high-altitude in-situ instruments called HYFLITS ('Hypersonic Flight in the Turbulent Stratosphere') to characterize turbulence in the troposphere and lower stratosphere, as well as conduct intercomparisons with the VHF PANSY radar (‘Program of the ANtarctic SYowa’) observations and concurrently deployed LODEWAVE (LOng-Duration balloon Experiment of gravity WAVE over Antarctica) observations. This research is motivated by the fact that the sources representing realistic multi-scale gravity wave (GW) drag, and Kelvin Helmholtz Instability (KHI) dynamics in enhanced shear flows, and their contributions to momentum/energy budgets due to turbulent transport/mixing, are largely missing in the current state-of-the-art General Circulation Model (GCM) parameterization schemes. This results in poor and unreliable model forecasts of flow features from local to synoptic scales at southern high latitudes. The proposed research aims to utilize high-resolution in-situ turbulence instruments to characterize the multi-scale GW sources and breaking, KHI instabilities emerging in a wide range of scales, Reynolds and Richardson numbers, and background GW environments in the coastal Antarctic region and quantify their contributions to the momentum and turbulence energy budgets in the tropo-stratosphere. Specific research objectives include the following: 1. Characterize the large-scale dynamics of orographic GWs produced by katabatic forcing and non-orographic GWs produced by summer tropopause jets and low-pressure synoptic-scale events employing targeted HYFLITS and LODEWAVE measurements in conjunction with PANSY radar observations. 2. Quantify the GW momentum fluxes using HYFLITS and LODEWAVE measurements, and the turbulence dissipation rates using HYFLITS and PANSY radar measurements for representative multi-scale GW and KHI events to assess the zonal and meridional energy and constituent transport, and the variability in turbulence intensities/mixing throughout the troposphere and lower stratosphere. The project will deploy the low-cost HYFLITS systems equipped with custom in-situ turbulence and radiosonde instruments at Syowa station. These balloon payloads descend slowly from an apogee of 20 km to provide high-resolution, wake-free turbulence observations, with guidance from real-time PANSY radar echoes and in coordination with the LODEWAVE experiment, to profile the atmospheric states for representative dynamical events.
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