The Simulation of Stationary and Transient Geopotential-Height Eddies in January and July with a Spectral General Circulation Model

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  • 1 Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545
  • | 2 Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149
  • | 3 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307
  • | 4 Australian Numerical Meteorology Research Centre, Melbourne, Australia 3001
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Abstract

We examine the characteristics of stationary and transient eddies in the geopotential-height field as simulated by a spectral general circulation model. The model possesses a realistic distribution of continents and oceans and realistic, but smoothed, topography. Two simulations with perpetual January and July forcing by climatological sea surface temperatures, sea ice, and insulation were extended to 1200 days, of which the final 600 days were used for the results in this study.

We find that the stationary waves are well simulated in both seasons in the Northern Hemisphere, where strong forcing by orography and land-sea thermal contrasts exists. However, in the Southern Hemisphere, where no continents are present in midlatitudes, the stationary waves have smaller amplitude than that observed in both seasons.

In both hemispheres, the transient eddies are well simulated in the winter season but are too weak in the summer season. The model fails to generate a sufficiently intense summertime midlatitude jet in either hemisphere, and this results in a low level of transient activity. The variance in the tropical troposphere is very well simulated. We examine the geographical distribution and vertical structure of the transient eddies. Fourier analysis in zonal wavenumber and temporal filtering am used to display the wavelength and frequency characteristics of the eddies.

Abstract

We examine the characteristics of stationary and transient eddies in the geopotential-height field as simulated by a spectral general circulation model. The model possesses a realistic distribution of continents and oceans and realistic, but smoothed, topography. Two simulations with perpetual January and July forcing by climatological sea surface temperatures, sea ice, and insulation were extended to 1200 days, of which the final 600 days were used for the results in this study.

We find that the stationary waves are well simulated in both seasons in the Northern Hemisphere, where strong forcing by orography and land-sea thermal contrasts exists. However, in the Southern Hemisphere, where no continents are present in midlatitudes, the stationary waves have smaller amplitude than that observed in both seasons.

In both hemispheres, the transient eddies are well simulated in the winter season but are too weak in the summer season. The model fails to generate a sufficiently intense summertime midlatitude jet in either hemisphere, and this results in a low level of transient activity. The variance in the tropical troposphere is very well simulated. We examine the geographical distribution and vertical structure of the transient eddies. Fourier analysis in zonal wavenumber and temporal filtering am used to display the wavelength and frequency characteristics of the eddies.

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