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Journal Article

Zonal flow regime changes in a GCM and in a simple quasigeostrophic model: The role of stratospheric dynamics


Fraedrich,  Klaus F.
Max Planck Fellows, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Bordi, I., Fraedrich, K. F., Ghil, M., & Sutera, A. (2009). Zonal flow regime changes in a GCM and in a simple quasigeostrophic model: The role of stratospheric dynamics. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 66, 1366-1383. doi:10.1175/2008JAS2771.1.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-483B-3
The atmospheric general circulation is characterized by both single- and double-jet patterns. The double-jet structure of the zonal mean zonal wind is analyzed in Southern Hemisphere observations for the two calendar months of November and April. The observed features are studied further in an idealized quasi-geostrophic and a simplified general circulation model (GCM). Results suggest that capturing the bimodality of the zonal mean flow requires the parameterization of momentum and heat fluxes associated with baroclinic instability of the three-dimensional fields.
The role of eddy heat fluxes in generating the observed double-jet pattern is ascertained by using an analytical Eady model with stratospheric easterlies, in which a single wave disturbance interacts with the mean flow. In this model, the dual jets are generated by the zonal mean flow correction. Sensitivity of the results to the tropospheric vertical wind shear (or, equivalently, the meridional temperature gradient in the basic state's troposphere) is also studied in the Eady model and compared to related experiments using the simplified GCM.