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The role of eddy fluxes in the response of the atmosphere to tropical thermal forcing

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Title: The role of eddy fluxes in the response of the atmosphere to tropical thermal forcing
Author(s): Wu, Huey-Tzu
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Anderson, John F.
Department / Program: Atmospheric Science
Discipline: Atmospheric Science
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Physics, Atmospheric Science
Abstract: The applicability of linear models in studying the observed stationary waves is considered. In particular, the time-mean effects of eddy fluxes on the response of the atmosphere to tropical thermal forcing are examined by using a time-dependent, nonlinear, global, baroclinic primitive equation model. It is shown that the lack of proper phase and spatial scale of previous linear simulations can be explained to a large degree by the effects of transient eddy fluxes.In this study, the nonlinear anomaly response to an isolated region of thermal anomalies is defined as the difference between the perturbation simulation and the basic solution of our forced model. Results indicate that the nonlinear response is a superposition and interaction of two components: a quasi-stationary mode which can be resolved by linear dynamics and a zonally propagating mode which owes its existence to baroclinic instability.Effects of basic state advection by standing eddies, which were included in the linear studies, are responsible for over half the anomaly response amplitude. As a result, the linear dynamics can account for several gross features of the anomaly response. These include the dominance of zonal wavenumbers 1 and 2 in high latitudes, the equivalent barotropic nature of the remote response, and the baroclinic nature of the near source response.Effects of eddy fluxes by nonlinear standing eddies are very small and do not show a clear relationship to the anomaly response. On the other hand, the transient eddies show a substantial impact on the anomaly response, especially for the mid-latitude lower troposphere. Specifically, this study suggests that the transient eddy flux mechanism is responsible for the large zonal scale of the anomaly response. The transient eddies also act to lead the anomaly response, and hence have a significant influence on its phase. In addition, the transient eddy effects are not dissipative, but rather enhance somewhat the amplitude of the anomaly response, especially for zonal wavenumbers 1 and 2 in mid and high latitudes. This suggests that it is unjustified to represent the transient eddy effects by a simple damping term in the linear models.
Issue Date: 1991
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/19097
Rights Information: Copyright 1991 Wu, Huey-Tzu
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9136769
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9136769
 

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