Atmospheric Predictability and Two-Dimensional Turbulence

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo
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Abstract

Recent observations indicate that the planetary-scale motions of the atmosphere obey some of the laws of two-dimensional turbulence. The eddy-damped Markovian approximation to two-dimensional turbulence is applied to these motions to predict for an observed energy spectrum the nonlinear transfer rates, characteristic error spectra, and the rate of error growth. In this way estimates are derived of the predictability of the atmosphere and of the errors inherent in numerical models. The use of stochastic models for turbulence approximations is described in an Appendix.

Abstract

Recent observations indicate that the planetary-scale motions of the atmosphere obey some of the laws of two-dimensional turbulence. The eddy-damped Markovian approximation to two-dimensional turbulence is applied to these motions to predict for an observed energy spectrum the nonlinear transfer rates, characteristic error spectra, and the rate of error growth. In this way estimates are derived of the predictability of the atmosphere and of the errors inherent in numerical models. The use of stochastic models for turbulence approximations is described in an Appendix.

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