Unexpected long-term variability in Jupiter's tropospheric temperatures - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Nature Astronomy Year : 2022

Unexpected long-term variability in Jupiter's tropospheric temperatures

Glenn S. Orton
  • Function : Author
Arrate Antuñano
  • Function : Author
Leigh N. Fletcher
  • Function : Author
James A. Sinclair
  • Function : Author
Thomas W. Momary
  • Function : Author
Takuya Fujiyoshi
  • Function : Author
Padma Yanamandra-Fisher
  • Function : Author
Jennifer J. Greco
  • Function : Author
Anna V. Payne
  • Function : Author
Kimberly A. Boydstun
  • Function : Author
Laura E. Wakefield
  • Function : Author


An essential component of planetary climatology is knowledge of the tropospheric temperature field and its variability. Previous studies of Jupiter hinted at non-seasonal periodic behaviour, as well as the presence of a dynamical relationship between tropospheric and stratospheric temperatures. However, these observations were made over time frames shorter than Jupiter's orbit or they used sparse sampling. Here we derive upper-tropospheric (330-mbar) temperatures over 40 years, covering several orbits of Jupiter. Periodicities of 4, 7-9 and 10-14 years were discovered that involve different latitude bands and seem disconnected from seasonal changes in solar heating. Anticorrelations of variability in opposite hemispheres were particularly striking at 16°, 22° and 30° from the equator. Equatorial temperature variations are also anticorrelated with those observed 60-70 km above. Such behaviour suggests a top-down control of equatorial tropospheric temperatures from stratospheric dynamics. Realistic future global climate models must address the origins of these variations in preparation for their extension to a wider array of gas giant exoplanets.

Dates and versions

insu-03993968 , version 1 (17-02-2023)



Glenn S. Orton, Arrate Antuñano, Leigh N. Fletcher, James A. Sinclair, Thomas W. Momary, et al.. Unexpected long-term variability in Jupiter's tropospheric temperatures. Nature Astronomy, 2022, ⟨10.1038/s41550-022-01839-0⟩. ⟨insu-03993968⟩
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