Satellite Spots Turbulence Producing Mountain Waves in the StratosphereWhen masses of air flow over massive mountains, invisible waves often roil high into the stratosphere, affecting weather and mixing the chemicals that contribute to ozone depletion. The waves also create turbulence that can be a danger to high-altitude research missions by NASA's lightweight ER-2 aircraft, as well as shuttle flights upon reentry. In Friday's issue of the journal Science, researchers report for the first time a technique that allows them to see temperature signatures from these invisible mountain waves. The method, involving high-resolution, satellite-based measurement of adjacent pockets of the atmosphere, is expected to aid in spotting turbulence and, one day, improve weather forecasts.
Britt, Robert Roy (Space Washington, DC United States)