Variability of mesospheric water vapor above Bern in relation to the 27-day solar rotation cycle

Lainer, Martin Lorenz Maximilian; Hocke, Klemens; Kämpfer, Niklaus (2016). Variability of mesospheric water vapor above Bern in relation to the 27-day solar rotation cycle. Journal of atmospheric and solar-terrestrial physics, 143-144, pp. 71-87. Elsevier Science 10.1016/j.jastp.2016.03.008

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Many studies investigated solar–terrestrial responses (thermal state, O₃ , OH, H₂O) with emphasis on the tropical upper atmosphere. In this paper the Focus is switched to water vapor in the mesosphere at a mid-latitudinal location. Eight years of water vapor profile measurements above Bern (46.88°N/7.46°E) are investigated to study oscillations with the Focus on periods between 10 and 50 days. Different spectral analyses revealed prominent features in the 27-day oscillation band, which are enhanced in the upper mesosphere (above 0.1 hPa, ∼64 km) during the rising sun spot activity of solar cycle 24. Local as well as zonal mean Aura MLS observations Support these results by showing a similar behavior. The relationship between mesospheric water and the solar Lyman-α flux is studied by comparing thesi-milarity of their temporal oscillations. The H₂O oscillation is negatively correlated to solar Lyman-α oscillation with a correlation coefficient of up to −0.3 to −0.4, and the Phase lag is 6–10 days at 0.04 hPa. The confidence level of the correlation is ≥99%. This finding supports the assumption that the 27-day oscillation in Lyman-α causes a periodical photo dissociation loss in mesospheric water. Wavelet power spectra, cross-wavelet transform and wavelet coherence analysis (WTC)complete our study. More periods of high common wavelet power of H₂O and solar Lyman-α are present when amplitudes of the Lyman-α flux increase. Since this is not a measure of physical correlation a more detailed view on WTC is necessary, where significant (two sigma level)correlations occur intermittently in the 27 and 13-day band with variable Phase lock behavior. Large Lyman-α oscillations appeared after the solar super storm in July 2012 and the H₂O oscillations show a well pronounced anticorrelation. The competition between advective transport and photo dissociation loss of mesospheric water vapor may explain the sometimes variable Phase relationship of mesospheric H₂O and solar Lyman-α oscillations. Generally, the WTC analysis indicates that solar variability causes observable photochemical and dynamical processes in the mid-latitude mesosphere.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics > Microwaves

UniBE Contributor:

Lainer, Martin Lorenz Maximilian; Hocke, Klemens and Kämpfer, Niklaus


600 Technology > 620 Engineering
500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology




Elsevier Science




Martin Lorenz Maximilian Lainer

Date Deposited:

07 Jun 2016 12:53

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:55

Publisher DOI:





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