Vertical temperature profiles at 40–75 km around 80°N in the Venus polar vortex are retrieved over 13 Earth days almost continuously from radio occultation measurements (Venus Express radio occultation) in the Venus Express mission. They show periodical variations with a dominant period of ∼3.1 Earth days. These fluctuations are confined in an altitude range of 45–65 km with a local minimum at ∼58 km altitude, where the static stability abruptly increases with height. The phase of the temperature fluctuations is almost reversed at the 58 km level and varies little above and below this altitude. A numerical simulation of a Venusian atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) shows that the axi-asymmetric temperature disturbance with zonal wave number 1 is predominant at 50–75 km levels in the model atmosphere. The vertical structure of the reproduced disturbance agrees quite well with that retrieved by the radio occultation measurement: amplitude of the temperature fluctuation has a local minimum and its phase is reversed at the altitude (65 km in the model) where the static stability rapidly changes as in the observations. Above and below this altitude, the phase is almost constant in the vertical direction. The relationship among the temperature, horizontal winds, and geopotential height associated with the simulated disturbance suggests that the axi-asymmetric temperature disturbance observed in the Venus polar region can be interpreted as neutral barotropic Rossby waves related to barotropic instability in the polar region.
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