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Some numerical experiments on the effect of the variation of static stability in two-layer quasi-geostrophic models

Bengtsson, L. (1964) Some numerical experiments on the effect of the variation of static stability in two-layer quasi-geostrophic models. Tellus, 16 (3). pp. 328-348. ISSN 0040-2826

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.2153-3490.1964.tb00170.x

Abstract/Summary

A method to solve a quasi-geostrophic two-layer model including the variation of static stability is presented. The divergent part of the wind is incorporated by means of an iterative procedure. The procedure is rather fast and the time of computation is only 60–70% longer than for the usual two-layer model. The method of solution is justified by the conservation of the difference between the gross static stability and the kinetic energy. To eliminate the side-boundary conditions the experiments have been performed on a zonal channel model. The investigation falls mainly into three parts: The first part (section 5) contains a discussion of the significance of some physically inconsistent approximations. It is shown that physical inconsistencies are rather serious and for these inconsistent models which were studied the total kinetic energy increased faster than the gross static stability. In the next part (section 6) we are studying the effect of a Jacobian difference operator which conserves the total kinetic energy. The use of this operator in two-layer models will give a slight improvement but probably does not have any practical use in short periodic forecasts. It is also shown that the energy-conservative operator will change the wave-speed in an erroneous way if the wave-number or the grid-length is large in the meridional direction. In the final part (section 7) we investigate the behaviour of baroclinic waves for some different initial states and for two energy-consistent models, one with constant and one with variable static stability. According to the linear theory the waves adjust rather rapidly in such a way that the temperature wave will lag behind the pressure wave independent of the initial configuration. Thus, both models give rise to a baroclinic development even if the initial state is quasi-barotropic. The effect of the variation of static stability is very small, qualitative differences in the development are only observed during the first 12 hours. For an amplifying wave we will get a stabilization over the troughs and an instabilization over the ridges.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:31691

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