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On the Linear Approximation of Gravity Wave Saturation in the Mesosphere

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  • 1 Laboratory for Planetary Atmospheres, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771
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Abstract

Lincizen's model of gravity wave breaking is shown to be inconsistent with the process of convective adjustment and associated turbulent outbreak. The K-theory turbulent diffusion model used by Lindzen implies a spatially uniform turbulent field which is not in agreement with the fact that gravity wave saturation and the associated convection produce turbulence only in restricted zones. The Lindzen model may be corrected to some extent by taking the turbulent Prandtl number for a diffusion acting on the wave itself to he very large. The eddy diffusion coefficients computed by Lindzen then become a factor of 2 larger and eddy transports of heat and constituents by wave fields vanish to first order.

Abstract

Lincizen's model of gravity wave breaking is shown to be inconsistent with the process of convective adjustment and associated turbulent outbreak. The K-theory turbulent diffusion model used by Lindzen implies a spatially uniform turbulent field which is not in agreement with the fact that gravity wave saturation and the associated convection produce turbulence only in restricted zones. The Lindzen model may be corrected to some extent by taking the turbulent Prandtl number for a diffusion acting on the wave itself to he very large. The eddy diffusion coefficients computed by Lindzen then become a factor of 2 larger and eddy transports of heat and constituents by wave fields vanish to first order.

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