Currently, global observational constraints on gravity wave momentum flux and gravity wave drag throughout the middle atmosphere are lacking, leading to large uncertainties in climate and weather prediction models.
CAIRT will provide information on the gravity wave momentum flux, propagation direction and drag through three-dimensional observation of temperature fluctuations at unprecedented scales.
The dots move with the background winds, the red and blue colours indicate the temperature perturbations due to the wave. Around 40km altitude the background wind vanishes and wave propagation to higher altitudes is inhibited. Here the waves break and accelerate the background winds, which is referred to as wave drag. Drag by gravity waves and global scale waves (Rossby waves) induces a global scale circulation, which ultimately influence weather and climate at the Earth surface.