Global 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. They are a key element in the global energy budgets.


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). For the study of related energy balances energy and mass conserving simulations and assimilations are used.

Recent publications

  • Becker, E. & S. L. Vadas, 2018: Secondary Gravity Waves in the Winter Mesosphere: Results From a High-Resolution Global Circulation Model. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 123,  5: 2605-2627, doi:10.1002/2017jd027460.
  • Gassmann, A., 2018: Discretization of generalized Coriolis and friction terms on the deformed hexagonal C-grid. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 144,  716: 2038-2053, doi:10.1002/qj.3294.
  • Harvey, V. L., C. E. Randall, L. Goncharenko, E. Becker & J. France, 2018: On the Upward Extension of the Polar Vortices Into the Mesosphere. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 123,  17: 9171-9191, doi:10.1029/2018jd028815.
  • 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., R. Latteck, E. Becker, J. Höffner & D. Murphy, 2017: 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.


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