On Non-Geostrophic Baroclinic Stability: Part III. The Momentum and Heat Transports

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  • 1 Center for Earth and Planetary Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 02138
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Abstract

The results of Parts I and II are used to calculate the transports of heat and momentum that accompany growing baroclinic instabilities in Eady's model. The transports are calculated for both the conventional (“geostrophic”) kind of baroclinic instability and for symmetric instability, without any restriction on the stratification, as measured by the Richardson number. The transports are calculated consistently to second order in the amplitude expansion of stability theory, so that the transports are the sum of an eddy transport term and a mean transport term.

The results show that both kinds of instability always transport heat upward and poleward, and always transport zonal momentum downward. Under geostrophic conditions the horizontal transport of zonal momentum depends on the horizontal shear of the basic flow. This shear is neglected in Eady's model so the horizontal momentum transports calculated here only contain the non-geostrophic contribution to the transport. The results show that this non-geostrophic transport is always equatorward for geostrophic instability, but for symmetric instability it may be either equatorward or poleward depending on the value of the Richardson number. It is suggested that the equatorward transport of zonal momentum by geostrophic instability is a more likely mechanism for Jupiter's equatorial acceleration than the transport by symmetric instability.

Abstract

The results of Parts I and II are used to calculate the transports of heat and momentum that accompany growing baroclinic instabilities in Eady's model. The transports are calculated for both the conventional (“geostrophic”) kind of baroclinic instability and for symmetric instability, without any restriction on the stratification, as measured by the Richardson number. The transports are calculated consistently to second order in the amplitude expansion of stability theory, so that the transports are the sum of an eddy transport term and a mean transport term.

The results show that both kinds of instability always transport heat upward and poleward, and always transport zonal momentum downward. Under geostrophic conditions the horizontal transport of zonal momentum depends on the horizontal shear of the basic flow. This shear is neglected in Eady's model so the horizontal momentum transports calculated here only contain the non-geostrophic contribution to the transport. The results show that this non-geostrophic transport is always equatorward for geostrophic instability, but for symmetric instability it may be either equatorward or poleward depending on the value of the Richardson number. It is suggested that the equatorward transport of zonal momentum by geostrophic instability is a more likely mechanism for Jupiter's equatorial acceleration than the transport by symmetric instability.

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