Influence of the “Tropical Pump” on Trace Constituents and Temperature

  • James Holton
Conference paper
Part of the Nato ASI Series book series (volume 54)


Suppose that there is a trace constituent that is stratified vertically and is initially at rest with constant mixing ratio surfaces corresponding to horizontal surfaces. When we “turn on” a meridional mass circulation with upward motion at low latitudes and downward motion at high latitudes, the effect would be to push the constituent upward at low latitudes and downward at high latitudes, so that the mixing ratio surfaces become tilted (Fig. 1). Breaking planetary waves in the stratosphere will produce irreversible mixing of the tracer along isentropic surfaces. This mixing will tend to flatten the surfaces of the constant mixing ratio. Thus, mixing competes with the effects of the diabatic circulation. Mixing, however, is a local process, occurring in the region of wave breaking, while the diabatic circulation is a global scale process.


Gravity Wave Rossby Wave Potential Vorticity Planetary Wave Geostrophic Wind 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andrews DG, JR Holton, CB Leovy (1987) Middle atmospheric dynamics. Academic Press OrlandoGoogle Scholar
  2. Charney JG, PG Drazin (1961) Propagation of planetary-scale disturbances from the lower into the upper atmosphere. J Geophys Res 66:83–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Holton JR (1992) Introduction to dynamic meteorology. Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  4. Holton JR (1986) Meridional distribution of stratospheric trace constituents. J Atmos Sci 43:1238–1242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lindzen RS (1981) Turbulence and stress owing to gravity wave and tidal breakdown. J Geophys Res 86:9707–9714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Rosenlof KH (1995) The seasonal cycle of the residual mean meridional circulation in the stratosphere. J Geophys Res 100:5173–5191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Yulaeva E, JR Holton, JM Wallace (1994) On the cause of the annual cycle in the tropical lower stratospheric temperature. J Atmos Sci 51:169–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Holton
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Atmospheric ScienceUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations