Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 6 of 6 items for

  • Author or Editor: R. F. Cahalan x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Gerald R. North and Robert F. Cahalan

Abstract

We Present a simple Budyko-Sellers type climate model which is forced by a heating term whose time dependence is white noise and whose space-separated autocorrelation is independent of position and orientation on the sphere (statistical homogeneity). Such models with diffusive transport are analytically soluble by expansion into spherical harmonies. The modes are dynamically and statistically independent. Each satisfies a simple Langevin equation having a scale-dependent characteristic time. Climate anomalies in these models have an interval of predictability which can be explicitly computed. The predictability interval is independent of the wavenumber spectrum of the forcing in this class of models. We present the predictability results for all scales and discuss the implications for more realistic models.

Full access
Robert F. Cahalan and Gerald R. North

Abstract

This paper treats the stability of steady-state solutions of some simple, latitude-dependent, energy-balance climate models. For north-south symmetric solutions of models with an ice-cap-type albedo feed-back, and for the sum of horizontal transport and infrared radiation given by a linear operator, it is possible to prove a “slope-stability” theorem; i.e., if the local slope of the steady-state icelinc latitude versus solar constant curve is positive (negative) the steady-state solution is stable (unstable). Certain rather weak restrictions on the albedo function and on the heat transport are required for the proof, and their physical basis is discussed in the text.

Full access
R. F. Cahalan, D. A. Short, and G. R. North

Abstract

A space-time statistical analysis of total outgoing infrared radiation (derived from the 10.5–12.5 μm window measurements of the NOAA operational satellites) is used to determine the gross features of day-to-day cloudiness fluctuations over the Pacific Ocean in summer and winter. Infrared fluctuations arise from the passage of cloudiness systems through a grid box as well as the creation and destruction of cloudiness in the box. Which process dominates depends upon the size of the box relative to the size, speed and persistence time of a typical cloudiness system. In most regions the statistical analysis yields advection speeds characteristic of 700 mb mean flow with spatial dependence resembling the 300 mb mean flow. Spatial scales less than 2000 km predominate, smaller scales having less persistence. Characteristic time scales are on the order of one or two days, even for a grid box spanning the entire North Pacific storm track. This result is remarkable in view of the much longer time scales commonly associated with atmospheric disturbances. Apparently many cloudiness systems are created and destroyed during the lifetime of a single disturbance.

Full access
H. Salmun, R. F. Cahalan, and G. R. North

Abstract

The steady-state zonally averaged climate is perturbed by adding a latitude-dependent heat source to an energy balance equation of the simplified Budyko-Sellers type. The latitude of the ice edge, which is attached to an isotherm, becomes dependent on the strength of the perturbation. This dependence is given in terms of the well-known iceline-solar constant relation, and the latitude dependence of the perturbed temperature field is then uniquely determined. The exact analytical solution is linearized and expressed in terms of a superposition of line sources at various latitudes. The main features are. 1) The total temperature response is a sum of the direct effect of the perturbation and an indirect ice-albedo effect proportional to the solar ice-edge sensitivity; and 2) the indirect feedback effect produces an enhanced response in polar latitudes.

Full access
Gerald R. North, Thomas L. Bell, Robert F. Cahalan, and Fanthune J. Moeng

Abstract

Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF's), eigenvectors of the spatial cross-covariance matrix of a meteorological field, are reviewed with special attention given to the necessary weighting factors for gridded data and the sampling errors incurred when too small a sample is available. The geographical shape of an EOF shows large intersample variability when its associated eigenvalue is “close” to a neighboring one. A rule of thumb indicating when an EOF is likely to be subject to large sampling fluctuations is presented. An explicit example, based on the statistics of the 500 mb geopotential height field, displays large intersample variability in the EOF's for sample sizes of a few hundred independent realizations, a size seldom exceeded by meteorological data sets.

Full access
Gerald R. North, Fanthune J. Moeng, Thomas L. Bell, and Robert F. Cahalan

Abstract

Zonally averaged meteorological fields can have large variances in polar regions due to purely geometrical effects, because fewer statistically independent areas contribute to zonal means near the poles than near the equator. A model of a stochastic field with homogeneous statistics on the sphere is presented as an idealized example of the phenomenon. We suggest a quantitative method for isolating the geometrical effect and use it in examining the variance of the zonally averaged 500 mb geopotential height field.

Full access