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Impact of the Vertical Resolution of Analysis Data on the Estimates of Large-Scale Inertio-Gravity Energy

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  • 1 University of Ljubljana, and Center of Excellence SPACE-SI, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • | 2 University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan
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Abstract

This paper deals with the large-scale inertio-gravity (IG) wave energy in the operational ECMWF analyses in July 2007. Energy percentages of the IG waves obtained from the standard-pressure-level data are compared to those derived from various discretizations of the model-level data. The results show a small albeit systematic increase of the IG energy percentage as the vertical level density increases from the standard-pressure levels toward the model-level density; the small relative change is explained by the sufficient vertical resolution to resolve the large-scale IG waves in the tropics that make the majority of the global IG energy on large scales. A relatively larger increase of the IG energy is obtained when the mesospheric model levels are included; however, the analyses at these levels in July 2007 are less reliable. Furthermore, two numerical methods for the normal-mode function (NMF) decomposition are shown to provide similar results. The decomposition of atmospheric analyses into the NMF series is proposed as a tool to analyze the spatial and temporal variations of the large-scale equatorial waves and their role in global energetics.

Corresponding author address: Nedjeljka Žagar, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Jadranska 19, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. E-mail: nedjeljka.zagar@fmf.uni-lj.si

Abstract

This paper deals with the large-scale inertio-gravity (IG) wave energy in the operational ECMWF analyses in July 2007. Energy percentages of the IG waves obtained from the standard-pressure-level data are compared to those derived from various discretizations of the model-level data. The results show a small albeit systematic increase of the IG energy percentage as the vertical level density increases from the standard-pressure levels toward the model-level density; the small relative change is explained by the sufficient vertical resolution to resolve the large-scale IG waves in the tropics that make the majority of the global IG energy on large scales. A relatively larger increase of the IG energy is obtained when the mesospheric model levels are included; however, the analyses at these levels in July 2007 are less reliable. Furthermore, two numerical methods for the normal-mode function (NMF) decomposition are shown to provide similar results. The decomposition of atmospheric analyses into the NMF series is proposed as a tool to analyze the spatial and temporal variations of the large-scale equatorial waves and their role in global energetics.

Corresponding author address: Nedjeljka Žagar, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Jadranska 19, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia. E-mail: nedjeljka.zagar@fmf.uni-lj.si
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