Large-scale two-dimensional turbulence in the atmosphere
Boer, G. J. and Shepherd, T. G. (1983) Large-scale two-dimensional turbulence in the atmosphere. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 40 (1). pp. 164-184. ISSN 1520-0469
To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/1520-0469(1983)040<0164:LSTDTI>2.0.CO;2
Global FGGE data are used to investigate several aspects of large-scale turbulence in the atmosphere. The approach follows that for two-dimensional, nondivergent turbulent flows which are homogeneous and isotropic on the sphere. Spectra of kinetic energy, enstrophy and available potential energy are obtained for both the stationary and transient parts of the flow. Nonlinear interaction terms and fluxes of energy and enstrophy through wavenumber space are calculated and compared with the theory. A possible method of parameterizing the interactions with unresolved scales is considered. Two rather different flow regimes are found in wavenumber space. The high-wavenumber regime is dominated by the transient components of the flow and exhibits, at least approximately, several of the conditions characterizing homogeneous and isotropic turbulence. This region of wavenumber space also displays some of the features of an enstrophy-cascading inertial subrange. The low-wavenumber region, on the other hand, is dominated by the stationary component of the flow, exhibits marked anisotropy and, in contrast to the high-wavenumber regime, displays a marked change between January and July.