The “WMO Professor Mariolopoulos Trust Fund Award” is granted for an outstanding research paper in atmospheric sciences published or accepted during the last two years in a refereed journal by a young scientist (age below 35 years by the date of publication). Independent reviewers selected the contributions of Sabine Wüst and Michael Bittner as well as of Noureddine Semane. The ceremony of awards took place during the opening of the conference „Climate Extremes During Recent Millennia and their Impact on Mediterranean Societies“ at the University of Athens.
The selected paper deals with the small scale atmospheric phenomenon of gravity waves. Gravity waves play a crucial role in atmospheric dynamics and influence even large scale circulation systems. The quantification of gravity wave energy is essential for the adequate description of the atmosphere. Due to short wavelengths and periods as well as due to a lack of knowledge of the waves’ parameters, their influence is difficult to calculate. Therefore, gravity waves are one of the determining uncertainty factors in climate and atmospheric modelling. In this context, the existence of so-called non-linear resonant interactions (triads) between gravity waves is investigated using rocket and satellite based data: these interactions lead to a redistribution of wave energy. This mechanism is not included in climate and atmospheric models. The awarded paper therefore contributes to the improvement of climate and atmospheric models in the long term.