The properties of temperature at the level of lapse rate minimum (LRM) in the tropical tropopause layer between 20°S and 20°N are investigated using 3-year radio occultation observations based on the FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC mission from November of 2006 to October of 2009. The correlations between this LRM temperature and Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) are analyzed by 5° × 5° grids in longitude and latitude. Two primary regions, one from 60°E to 180°E and the other from 90°W to 30°E, are found to have higher correlations and can be associated with regions of lower OLR values. The patterns of this spatial distributions of regions with higher correlations begin to change more obviously when the altitude ascends to the level of Cold Point Tropopause (CPT). This correlation at the LRM altitude in annual and seasonal scales also shows spatial distributions associated with OLR intensities. The altitudinal dependence of the correlations between temperature and OLR is further analyzed based on grids of high correlations with significance at LRM altitude, for the two primary regions. The results show that for the different time scales in this analysis (3-year, annual, and seasonal), the correlations all gradually decrease above the LRM levels but maintain a significant level to as high as 2.5–3.5 km. Below the LRM level, the correlation decreases with a slower rate as the altitude descends and still keeps significant at the deep 5 km level. These suggest that the vertical temperature profiles could be affected by the convection mechanism for a wide range of altitudes in the troposphere even above LRM altitude. Applying the same analysis on one complete La Niña event during the survey period also reveals similar features.
Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 171, P.21-35