NASA logo

Aura Science

HIRDLS Science Observations

OMI feature

Global Characteristics of the Double Tropopause

The global pattern of the double tropopause is revealed using the HIRDLS high vertical resolution profiles. Composition and structure near the tropopause are important for the Earth radiative balance and quantifying transport of ozone and other stratospheric species into the troposphere.

HIRDLS feature

Equatorial wave structure

HIRDLS temperature measurement sampling and resolution afford unprecedented views of the latitude-height structure of equatorial waves at altitudes above the cloud tops.

HIRDLS feature

Gravity wave momentum fluxes in polar regions

HIRDLS observations are used to quantify gravity wave momentum fluxes in the middle atmosphere.

HIRDLS feature

Gravity wave momentum fluxes in monsoon regions

Measurements from HIRDLS are used to quantify gravity wave momentum fluxes generated from monsoon regions across the globe over the three years 2005-2007.

HIRDLS feature

Stratosphere-Troposphere Intrusions

Deep intrusions of tropospheric air into the lower stratosphere above the subtropical jet, characterized by low ozone concentration and low static stability, are consistently observed with Aura/HIRDLS.

Cirrus distribution mapped with HIRDLS

Cirrus distribution mapped with HIRDLS

Ongoing research using this data will determine how this heating enhances vertical transport in the upper troposphere.

HIRDLS Cloud Extinction

HIRDLS Cloud Extinction

High thin clouds are difficult to detect from space. The first comprehensive climatology of thin clouds has been developed with the HIRDLS limb viewing infrared radiometer.

Aura Science Result Image

Observations of Laminar Cirrus

Recent observations by the HIRDLS and CALIPSO experiments provide more detailed observations of the subvisible cirrus. This information will help describe the physics of cirrus formation, and possible future changes in stratospheric and upper tropospheric water vapor.

Aura Science Result Image

Spectacular Mountain Wave Events

The HIRDLS instrument aboard the Aura satellite is measuring temperature profiles of the atmosphere, revealing small-scale atmospheric buoyancy waves (also known as "gravity waves") in fine detail.

MLS Sub-Visual Cirrus

First Maps of Sub-Visual Cirrus in the Upper Tropical Troposphere

MLS sees cloud ice, but HIRDLS sees the clouds themselves, even clouds that are so thin that people cannot see them. Just as in the MLS cloud ice map we see large amounts of this cirrus in regions of significant cloud ice.springtime breakup of the 2004 Antarctic vortex.

Gravity Waves

First Global Measurement of Small Scale Gravity Waves in the Stratosphere

HIRDLS high resolution temperature measurements show short vertical wavelength gravity waves, permitting assessment of gravity wave forcing in the stratospheric circulation.