A Parameterization of Transient Eddy Heat Flux on a Beta-Plane

Lee E. Branscome Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149

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Abstract

A parameterization of transient eddy heat flux is developed which incorporates baroclinic wave behavior in a continuously stratified fluid on a β-plane. The meridional and vertical heat transports are more sensitive to forced changes in the mean state than suggested by earlier parameterizations. This strong response is analogous to the rapid flux variation in a two-level model near neutral stability. A scheme for applying the parameterization to observed mean zonal flow is suggested and computed fluxes are similar in magnitude and structure to observed eddy heat flux. The flux modeling is consistent with the stronger dependence on meridional temperature gradient and large seasonal variation of the vertical eddy scale observed in lower latitudes.

Abstract

A parameterization of transient eddy heat flux is developed which incorporates baroclinic wave behavior in a continuously stratified fluid on a β-plane. The meridional and vertical heat transports are more sensitive to forced changes in the mean state than suggested by earlier parameterizations. This strong response is analogous to the rapid flux variation in a two-level model near neutral stability. A scheme for applying the parameterization to observed mean zonal flow is suggested and computed fluxes are similar in magnitude and structure to observed eddy heat flux. The flux modeling is consistent with the stronger dependence on meridional temperature gradient and large seasonal variation of the vertical eddy scale observed in lower latitudes.

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