A Comparison of the General Circulations of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres Based on Satellite, Multi-Channel Radiance Data

Robert F. Adler Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo. 80523

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Abstract

Certain aspects of the general circulations of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are compared using atmospheric structure obtained from Nimbus 3 Satellite Infrared Spectrometer (SIRS) data. Comparisons between the hemispheres of zonal and eddy available potential energy (AZ and AE) and zonal and eddy kinetic energy (KZ and KE) indicate that the ratios of AZ to AE and KZ to KE are larger in the Southern Hemisphere.

The relative importance of standing and transient eddies in both hemispheres is investigated. The results show that standing eddies in the Southern Hemisphere contribute less to eddy available potential energy (AE) and eddy kinetic energy (KE) than in the Northern Hemisphere. The same type of inter-hemispheric distinction is true for the mid-latitude eddy heat flux. The distribution with latitude of the relative importance of standing and transient eddies is also studied.

Horizontal eddy heat fluxes in the upper troposphere of both hemispheres are examined and in mid-latitudes found to be approximately equal in magnitude when averaged over the summer and winter month. The Southern Hemisphere mid-latitude eddy heat flux is also shown to have significant longitudinal variations, apparently associated with the location of the southern continents.

Abstract

Certain aspects of the general circulations of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are compared using atmospheric structure obtained from Nimbus 3 Satellite Infrared Spectrometer (SIRS) data. Comparisons between the hemispheres of zonal and eddy available potential energy (AZ and AE) and zonal and eddy kinetic energy (KZ and KE) indicate that the ratios of AZ to AE and KZ to KE are larger in the Southern Hemisphere.

The relative importance of standing and transient eddies in both hemispheres is investigated. The results show that standing eddies in the Southern Hemisphere contribute less to eddy available potential energy (AE) and eddy kinetic energy (KE) than in the Northern Hemisphere. The same type of inter-hemispheric distinction is true for the mid-latitude eddy heat flux. The distribution with latitude of the relative importance of standing and transient eddies is also studied.

Horizontal eddy heat fluxes in the upper troposphere of both hemispheres are examined and in mid-latitudes found to be approximately equal in magnitude when averaged over the summer and winter month. The Southern Hemisphere mid-latitude eddy heat flux is also shown to have significant longitudinal variations, apparently associated with the location of the southern continents.

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