Atmospheric transient perturbations (ATPs), such as high-frequency gravity waves and fast-evolving clouds, originate from the deviation of the atmosphere from its stable state, and die to drag the atmosphere to a new equilibrium state. A single transient perturbation is trivial to the climate (although important to weather), but impacts from persistent, intermittent forcings of ATP are non-negligible over a long period of time.
Various satellite observational techniques enable us to evaluate the delicate vertical structures, especially the tilt structure, of ATPs globally and continuously. In this talk, I will present a satellite perspective of the vertically tilted structure of stratospheric gravity waves and tropospheric ice clouds using AIRS, CloudSat, MLS, etc. I will show that although the slantwise tilt appears random from case to case, the monthly means are not zero, and it is this non-trivial average of the tilted structure that matters to the global momentum, radiation and hydrological budgets, as well as to satellite retrievals. I’ll also briefly touch base on how to improve GCM treatment of the effects from ATPs using the satellite observations.