The GGFC Special Bureau for the Atmosphere of the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service

Author: David Salstein
Date: 
November 18, 2002 - November 21, 2002
Type: 
Article
Venue: 
Proceedings of the IERS Workshop on Combination Research and Global Geophysical Fluids
Citation: 

Salstein, D.A., 2002: The GGFC Special Bureau for the Atmosphere of the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, IERS Technical Note 30, Proceedings of the IERS Workshop on Combination Research and Global Geophysical Fluids, Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Munich, Germany, 121-124.

The mass and the angular momentum of the atmosphere are properties whose variability relates to both geodetic and climate signals. Total atmospheric dry mass is very nearly conserved, but water substance is exchanged with the oceans and Earth below. The horizontal distribution of atmospheric mass changes on a number of time scales, and varies both meridionally and zonally, often related to climate modes. Such variability is important to the overall terrestrial mass signal measured by the new “Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE)” satellite system. Atmospheric pressure, moreover, loads the crust, leading to small vertical deformations and thus impacts the geodetic reference frame.