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Title: Inferring precise tracer transport from stratospheric measurements
Author: Good, P.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis examines tracer transport at mid- and high northern latitudes in the lower stratosphere during early 1992, using lidar observations of aerosol from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo and coordinate fields based on meteorological analyses. The errors and resolution of the measurement, the spatial and temporal coverage made by the observations and the specific behaviour of the constituent being measured are all important. The lidar observations used are of relatively high resolution, and offer good coverage of the mid- and high latitude stratosphere during early 1992. The suitability of the aerosol lidar data to tracer transport studies is discussed, in terms of aerosol microphysics and the properties of the specific measurement. The random error in the measurement is assessed as part of the analysis. In all the analyses, care is taken to avoid spatial averaging of the data, since that can lead to an overestimate of the mixing in the real atmosphere. The northern midlatitude aerosol distribution is found to be relatively stable by early 1992. Transport to high latitude is investigated, with some variability demonstrated as a function of time and potential temperature, covering the region from 520K down to 350K. This is the first time that such a large number of reasonably high resolution, mid- and high latitude observations have been analysed without averaging, to demonstrate irreversible winter-time poleward transport of a tracer to northern high latitude. The vortex edge data near 500K is examined further, using a novel statistical approach. The random error in the equivalent latitude coordinate is quantified for this region, and detailed aerosol tracer transport inferred.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available