Dynamics and variability

The diagnosis of long-term changes in observations of the middle atmosphere and interpretations is the aim of this topic. Research targets are for example the long-term changes in circulation patterns, the relation between the energy budget in the mesosphere with the tropospheric circulation, dynamically induced changes in stratospheric ozone and its feedback on the dynamics.


For the detection of trends, regression analysis is applied to data sets, such as for example IAP observations of water vapor, winds and ionospheric phase heights. For that purpose, data are pre-processed, known circulation signals are identified and the significance of results is quantified. Comparisons with circulation models served for their validation. The investigations rely on the analysis of observations, reanalyses and on simulations with models of different complexity (for example KMCM, see also Transport and Chemistry). Complex and simplified circulation and transport models allow for a quantification of contributions of long-term changes in the dynamical processes to the observed trends in different height regions, which can not be deduced from observations alone. Linear solutions of the governing mathematical equations are used to separate processes of first and second order.

Recent publications

  • Grygalashvyly, M., G. R. Sonnemann, F.-J. Lübken, P. Hartogh & U. Berger, 2014: Hydroxyl layer: Mean state and trends at midlatitudes. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119, 21: 12391 - 12419. doi:10.1002/2014JD022094.
  • Orsolini, Y. J., L. Zhang, D. H. W. Peters, K. Fraedrich, X. Zhu, A. Schneidereit & B. van den Hurk, 2015: Extreme precipitation events over north China in August 2010 and their link to eastward-propagating wave-trains across Eurasia: observations and monthly forecasting. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 141: 3097-3105. doi:10.1002/qj.2594.
  • Peters, D. H. W. & G. Entzian, 2015: Long-term variability of 50 years of standard phase-height measurement at Kühlungsborn, Mecklenburg, Germany. Adv. Space Res. 55: 1764-1774. doi:10.1016/j.asr.2015.01.021.
  • Peters, D. H. W., G. Entzian & P. Keckhut, 2017: Mesospheric temperature trends derived from standard phase-height measurements. J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys. 163: 23-30, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2017.04.007.
  • Sonnemann, G. R. & M. Grygalashvyly, 2014: Global annual methane emission rate derived from its current atmospheric mixing ratio and estimated lifetime. Ann. Geopys. 32: 277 - 283. doi:10.5194/angeo-32-277-2014.
  • Sonnemann, G. R., P. Hartogh, U. Berger & M. Grygalashvyly, 2015: Hydroxyl layer: trend of number density and intra-annual variability. Ann. Geopys. 33, 6: 749-767. doi:10.5194/angeo-33-749-2015.


  • Dieter H.W. Peters
  • Erich Becker
  • Günter Entzian
  • Axel Gabriel
  • Mikhailo Grygalashvyly
  • Gerd R. Sonnemann
  • Christoph Zülicke