An alternative mechanism explaining the hygropause formation in tropical regions

H. Teitelbaum, M. Moustaoui, C. Basdevant, J. R. Holton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Radiosonde data obtained during CEPEX and TOGA-COARE experiments show that a very simple mechanism can explain the existence, in tropical regions, of a local hygropause with a very low water vapor mixing ratio, less than 2 ppmv. This mechanism explains also why this hygropause is generally located well above the average tropopause in the lower stratosphere, and why it can temporarily coincide with the local tropopause. This interpretation is based on the existence, during periods of intense convective phenomena, of an uplift of the tropopause inducing a cooling of its temperature. We indeed find in these circumstances, when temperature and water vapor measurements are simultaneously available, very low water vapor values at the same level as the temperature minimum. After the end of the intense convection episode, the minimum temperature level is reestablished at a lower altitude while the hygropause remains positioned in the lower stratosphere but with a low value for the water vapor mixing ratio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-224
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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