Residual Circulation

The global residual circulation extends from the troposphere through the middle atmosphere. In the upper mesosphere / lower thermosphere, it is in exchange with the atmospheric layers above. The interaction between waves and mean flow ad well as inter- and intra-hemispheric differences and similarities are of special interest.


For the diagnosis of the spatio-temporally averaged mass circulation the so-called Transformed Eulerian Mean (TEM) equations are applied o observations and to model simulations, for example from KMCM. The resulting "residual" circulation contains the mean wind (Euler wind) and wave-induced transports (eddy flux).

Recent publications

  • Becker, E., R. Knöpfel & F.-J. Lübken, 2015: Dynamically induced hemispheric differences in the seasonal cycle of the summer polar mesopause. J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys. 129: 128-141. doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2015.04.014.
  • Gassmann, A., 2014: Deviations from a general nonlinear wind balance: Local and zonal-mean perspectives. Meteor. Z. 23, 5: 467-481. doi:10.1127/metz/2014/0568.
  • Karlsson, B. & E. Becker, 2016: How does Interhemispheric Coupling contribute to cool down the summer polar mesosphere? J. Climate 29, 24: 8807-8821. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-16-0231.1.
  • Lübken, F. J., J. Höffner, T. P. Viehl, E. Becker, R. Latteck, B. Kaifler, D. J. Murphy & R. J. Morris, 2015: Winter/summer transition in the Antarctic mesopause region. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 120, 24: 12394-12409. doi:10.1002/2015jd023928.
  • Lübken, F.-J., R. Latteck, E. Becker, J. Höffner & D. Murphy, 2016: Using polar mesosphere summer echoes and stratospheric/mesospheric winds to explain summer mesopause jumps in Antarctica. J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys. 162: 106-115, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2016.06.008.
  • Schlutow, M., E. Becker & H. Körnich, 2014: Positive definite and mass conserving tracer transport in spectral GCMs. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119, 119: 11,562-511,577. doi:10.1002/2014jd021661.


  • Erich Becker
  • Axel Gabriel
  • Almut Gaßmann
  • Dieter H.W. Peters