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Fluctuations, response, and resonances in a simple atmospheric model

Gritsun, A. and Lucarini, V. ORCID: (2017) Fluctuations, response, and resonances in a simple atmospheric model. Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, 349. pp. 62-76. ISSN 0167-2789

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.physd.2017.02.015


We study the response of a simple quasi-geostrophic barotropic model of the atmosphere to various classes of perturbations affecting its forcing and its dissipation using the formalism of the Ruelle response theory. We investigate the geometry of such perturbations by constructing the covariant Lyapunov vectors of the unperturbed system and discover in one specific case–orographic forcing–a substantial projection of the forcing onto the stable directions of the flow. This results into a resonant response shaped as a Rossby-like wave that has no resemblance to the unforced variability in the same range of spatial and temporal scales. Such a climatic surprise corresponds to a violation of the fluctuation–dissipation theorem, in agreement with the basic tenets of nonequilibrium statistical mechanics. The resonance can be attributed to a specific group of rarely visited unstable periodic orbits of the unperturbed system. Our results reinforce the idea of using basic methods of nonequilibrium statistical mechanics and high-dimensional chaotic dynamical systems to approach the problem of understanding climate dynamics.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for the Mathematics of Planet Earth (CMPE)
ID Code:71348


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