State of Environment

Indicator 4 - Monthly mean lower stratospheric temperatures above Australian Antarctic Stations

Index: Description | Data | Custodian evaluation | Related resources | Parameters

Description

Indicator Definition
Monthly means of daily temperatures at the 100hPa level (lower stratosphere),
from radiosonde soundings above Australian Antarctic stations Casey, Davis,
Mawson and Macquarie Island.


Responsible organisation

Bureau of Meteorology, Department of the Environment and Heritage ( Australia )

Custodians

No custodians.

Theme area

Atmosphere

Indicator type

Condition

Criteria the indicator satisfies

The following 11 out of 15 criteria

1. Serve as a robust indicator of environmental change
2. Reflect a fundamental or highly-valued aspect of the environment or an important environmental issue
3. Be either national in scope or applicable to regional environmental issues of national significance
4. Provide an early warning of potential problems
5. Be capable of being monitored to provide statistically verifiable and reproducible data that shows trends over time and, preferably, apply to a broad range of environmental regions
6. Be scientifically credible
7. Be easy to understand
9. Be cost-effective
11. Contribute to monitoring of progress towards implementing commitments in nationally important environmental policies
13. Contribute to the fulfillment of reporting obligations under international agreements
15. Where possible and appropriate, be consistent and comparable with other countries´┐Ż and state and territory indicators

For details of indicators, see the State of Environment Bibliography entries 16336 and 16337

Date input

Monthly measurements

Monitoring location

Geographic coverage

Rationale For Indicator Selection
Global climate models show warming in response to increased greenhouse gas
(carbon dioxide, methane etc) concentrations in the atmosphere; this is called
the "enhanced greenhouse effect". There is interest in climate variability and
change not just at the surface, but extending up into the atmosphere. There is
evidence of warming in the lower troposphere, but cooling in the lower
stratosphere. Ozone depletion processes are also closely linked to
stratospheric temperatures.


Design and Strategy For Indicator Monitoring Program
Spatial Scale: Australian Antarctic stations: Casey (lat 660 16' 54.5" S,
long 1100 31' 39.4" E), Davis (lat 680 34' 35.8" S, long 770 58' 02.6" E),
Mawson (lat 670 36' 09.7" S, long 620 52' 25.7" E) and Macquarie Island
(lat 540 37' 59.9" S, long 1580 52' 59.9" E).


Temporal scale: Monthly.


Measurement technique: Radiosonde.


Research Issues


There is need to develop a high-quality data set from the available data,
correcting erroneous data and estimating missing data. Adjustment may be
necessary for changes in instrumentation or observing practices.


Some of these changes are documented in the station history files held by the
Regional Observations Section. These history files are currently held as paper
records, although more recent information is held electronically and there is
an effort to digitise the older records.


Before the data can be used for the detection of change, a concerted effort
will need to be made to identify deficiencies in the data, and then make
compensations where possible. This is made more difficult by the lack of
suitable comparison sites.


Over recent years satellite data exist, which could be used in conjunction
with radiosonde data. Satellite data and radiosonde data from other nations
should lead to a greater coverage.


Data

Temporal range of the available data, as described by the metadata record, is from 01-Apr-4848 .

Timespan
February-1959 to March-2017
Number of data points
2521

To view or download any of the data, you must be logged in

Data quality, interpretation and analysis of indicator data

Data usage constraints

'This data set conforms to the PICCCBY Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Please follow instructions listed in the citation reference provided at http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/metadata/citation.cfm?entry_id=SOE_low_strato when using these data.'

Data access constraints

'Data arising from this project are available from the state of the environment indicator URL given below.'

Custodian evaluation

8 May 2002

The annual cycle can be clearly seen in the plots of monthly mean lower stratospheric temperature, though the range is smaller for Macquarie Island than for the Antarctic sites. This cycle makes it hard to see long-term trends but can be removed by using monthly anomalies, which show the difference between the value for a given month and the long-term mean value for that month. This process also helps to remove any biases that may result from missing data.

The anomaly data indicate significant cooling at all sites, especially the Antarctic sites where the temperature appears to have decreased by about 3 degrees in 40 years.

It should be noted that the data have not been corrected for any changes in instrumentation or observing practices.

7 Nov 2002

Condition scale - 5
1 - the environment degraded to the point where rehabilitation is impossible
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - the environment is pristine, in perfect condition, no anthropogenic influences
State of Knowledge scale - 5
1 - Poor
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - Excellent

5 Aug 2004

Over the whole period of record there has been a significant cooling at all sites, especially the Antarctic sites where the temperature appears to have decreased by about 3 degrees. However, temperatures have steadied over recent years at Antarctic sites, with a slight warming at Macquarie Island.

Of interest for the Antarctic sites are the cold spike of late 2001 and the relatively warm spike of early 2003.

Condition scale - 4 - fair condition
1 - the environment degraded to the point where rehabilitation is impossible
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - the environment is pristine, in perfect condition, no anthropogenic influences
State of Knowledge scale - 4 - Fair
1 - Poor
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - Excellent

For definitions of the Scale categories, consult the Explanation of the Status Categories

Related resources


Project 805 - Meteorology Observations
Scientific Bibliography 17309 - French, J., Burns, G., Greet, P. & French, K. (2000) Antarctic Noctilucent Clouds: The Upper atmosphere Exposed to View. The Physicist, volume 37, Number 3
SOE Indicator 1 - Monthly mean air temperatures at Australian Antarctic Stations
SOE Indicator 2 - Highest monthly air temperatures at Australian Antarctic Stations
SOE Indicator 3 - Lowest monthly air temperatures at Australian Antarctic Stations
SOE Indicator 5 - Monthly mean mid-tropospheric temperatures above Australian Antarctic Stations
SOE Indicator 6 - Daily mean 10m Firn Temperatures at AWS sites in the AAT (deg C)
SOE Indicator 8 - Monthly mean atmospheric pressure at Australian Antarctic Stations
SOE Indicator 11 - Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gas species
SOE Indicator 12 - Noctilucent cloud observations at Davis
SOE Indicator 13 - Polar stratospheric cloud observations at Davis
SOE Indicator 14 - Midwinter atmospheric temperature at altitude 87km
SOE Indicator 16 - Extent of summer surface glacial melt (sq km)
SOE Indicator 42 - Antarctic sea ice extent and area
SOE Indicator 56 - Monthly fuel usage of the generator sets and boilers
SOE Indicator 59 - Monthly electricity usage at Australian Antarctic Stations
SOE Indicator 76 - Monthly fuel usage of ships travelling to Australian Antarctic Stations

Parameters

The properties link can be used to view details of the parameters measured for this indicator.

Parameter Name Unit of measure Properties
Air Temperature deg C Properties
Air Temperature Anomaly deg C Properties

The following parameters and/or sensor notes are from the metadata record.

Parameters

EARTH SCIENCE > ATMOSPHERE > ATMOSPHERIC TEMPERATURE > SURFACE TEMPERATURE

Sensors

RAWINSONDES

TEMPERATURE SENSORS

Related URLs

http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/metadata/citation.cfm?entry_id=SOE_low_strato
Citation reference for this metadata record and dataset

http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/portal/download_file.cfm?file_id=1272
Download page for Australian Antarctic Data Centre