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Axial Atmospheric Angular Momentum Budget at Diurnal and Subdiurnal Periodicities

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  • 1 LMD/IPSL CNRS, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
  • | 2 Institut de Physique du Globe, Paris, France
  • | 3 European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, United Kingdom
  • | 4 LMD/IPSL CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
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Abstract

The diurnal and subdiurnal variations of the mass and wind terms of the axial atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) are explored using a 1-yr integration of the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMDz) GCM, twelve 10-day ECMWF forecasts, and some ECMWF analysis products. In these datasets, the wind and mass AAMs present diurnal and semidiurnal oscillations for which tendencies far exceed the total torque.

In the LMDz GCM, these diurnal and semidiurnal oscillations are associated with axisymmetric (s = 0) and barotropic circulation modes that resemble the second gravest (n = 2) eigensolution of Laplace’s tidal equations. This mode induces a Coriolis conversion from the wind AAM toward the mass AAM that far exceeds the total torque. At the semidiurnal period, this mode dominates the axisymmetric and barotropic circulation. At the diurnal period, this n = 2 mode is also present, but the barotropic circulation also presents a mode resembling the first gravest n = 1 eigensolution of the tidal equations. This last mode does not produce anomalies in the mass and wind AAMs.

A shallow-water axisymmetric model driven by zonal mean zonal forces, for which the vertical integral equals the zonal mean zonal stresses issued from the GCM, is then used to interpret these results. This model reproduces well the semidiurnal oscillations in mass and wind AAM, and the semidiurnal mode resembling the n = 2 eigensolution that produces them, when the forcing is distributed barotropically in the vertical direction. This model also reproduces diurnal modes resembling the n = 1 and n = 2 eigensolutions when the forcings are distributed more baroclinically. Among the dynamical forcings that produce these modes of motion, it is found that the mountain forcing and the divergence of the AAM flux are equally important and are more efficient than the boundary layer friction.

In geodesy, the large but opposite signals in the mass and wind AAM due to the n = 2 modes can lead to large errors in the evaluation of the AAM budget. The n = 2 responses in surface pressure can affect the earth ellipcity, and the n = 1 diurnal response can affect the geocenter position. For the surface pressure tide, the results suggest that the dynamical forcings of the zonal-mean zonal flow are a potential cause for its s = 0 component.

* Current affiliation: Instituto de Meteorologia/Instituto D. Luìs, Lisbon, Portugal

Corresponding author address: Dr. François Lott, LMD/IPSL CNRS, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris CEDEX 05, France. Email: flott@lmd.ens.fr

Abstract

The diurnal and subdiurnal variations of the mass and wind terms of the axial atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) are explored using a 1-yr integration of the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMDz) GCM, twelve 10-day ECMWF forecasts, and some ECMWF analysis products. In these datasets, the wind and mass AAMs present diurnal and semidiurnal oscillations for which tendencies far exceed the total torque.

In the LMDz GCM, these diurnal and semidiurnal oscillations are associated with axisymmetric (s = 0) and barotropic circulation modes that resemble the second gravest (n = 2) eigensolution of Laplace’s tidal equations. This mode induces a Coriolis conversion from the wind AAM toward the mass AAM that far exceeds the total torque. At the semidiurnal period, this mode dominates the axisymmetric and barotropic circulation. At the diurnal period, this n = 2 mode is also present, but the barotropic circulation also presents a mode resembling the first gravest n = 1 eigensolution of the tidal equations. This last mode does not produce anomalies in the mass and wind AAMs.

A shallow-water axisymmetric model driven by zonal mean zonal forces, for which the vertical integral equals the zonal mean zonal stresses issued from the GCM, is then used to interpret these results. This model reproduces well the semidiurnal oscillations in mass and wind AAM, and the semidiurnal mode resembling the n = 2 eigensolution that produces them, when the forcing is distributed barotropically in the vertical direction. This model also reproduces diurnal modes resembling the n = 1 and n = 2 eigensolutions when the forcings are distributed more baroclinically. Among the dynamical forcings that produce these modes of motion, it is found that the mountain forcing and the divergence of the AAM flux are equally important and are more efficient than the boundary layer friction.

In geodesy, the large but opposite signals in the mass and wind AAM due to the n = 2 modes can lead to large errors in the evaluation of the AAM budget. The n = 2 responses in surface pressure can affect the earth ellipcity, and the n = 1 diurnal response can affect the geocenter position. For the surface pressure tide, the results suggest that the dynamical forcings of the zonal-mean zonal flow are a potential cause for its s = 0 component.

* Current affiliation: Instituto de Meteorologia/Instituto D. Luìs, Lisbon, Portugal

Corresponding author address: Dr. François Lott, LMD/IPSL CNRS, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris CEDEX 05, France. Email: flott@lmd.ens.fr

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