ON THE INTERANNUAL VARIABILITY OF THE TROPOSPHERIC ENERGY CYCLE AND THE QUASI-BIENNIAL OSCILLATION

ALVIN J. MILLER National Meteorological Center, ESSA, Hillcrest Heights, Md.

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Abstract

Geostrophic computations in the wave number domain have been made of the “eddy” kinetic energy, the transfer of kinetic energy between the zonal flow and the eddies, and the internal redistribution of kinetic energy among the eddies at 500 mb. An 11-yr record has been inspected for year-to-year variations and the results related to the quasi-biennial oscillation in the lower stratosphere.

The individual wave numbers indicate significant year-to-year variations in their energy cycle that must be considered when only short time periods are under study. While no consistent relationship was found between these variations and the quasi-biennial oscillation, our results suggest that a profitable line of inquiry would be to examine the annual variations of the vertical transfer of kinetic energy by the pressure-work term at the interface of the troposphere and stratosphere.

Abstract

Geostrophic computations in the wave number domain have been made of the “eddy” kinetic energy, the transfer of kinetic energy between the zonal flow and the eddies, and the internal redistribution of kinetic energy among the eddies at 500 mb. An 11-yr record has been inspected for year-to-year variations and the results related to the quasi-biennial oscillation in the lower stratosphere.

The individual wave numbers indicate significant year-to-year variations in their energy cycle that must be considered when only short time periods are under study. While no consistent relationship was found between these variations and the quasi-biennial oscillation, our results suggest that a profitable line of inquiry would be to examine the annual variations of the vertical transfer of kinetic energy by the pressure-work term at the interface of the troposphere and stratosphere.

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