# Lecture 5: Atmospheric General Circulation and Climate

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1 Lecture 5: Atmospheric General Circulation and Climate Geostrophic balance Zonal-mean circulation Transients and eddies Meridional energy transport Moist static energy Angular momentum balance

2 Atmosphere the Great Communicator The movement of air in the atmosphere is of critical importance for climate. Atmospheric motions carry heat from the tropics to the polar regions. Water from the oceans is evaporated and carried in the air to land, where rainfall supports plant and animal life. Winds supply momentum to ocean surface currents that transport heat and oceanic trace constituents such as salt and nutrients. The atmosphere provides the most rapid communication between geographic regions within the climate system.

3 Atmospheric General Circulation The global system of atmospheric motions that is generated by the uneven heating of Earth s surface area by the Sun is called the general circulation.

4 Scales of Motions in the Atmosphere

5 Wind Components

6 Single-Cell Model: Explains Why There are Tropical Easterlies Without Earth Rotation With Earth Rotation Coriolis Force (Figures from Understanding Weather & Climate and The Earth System)

7 Coriolis Force U B U A (from The Earth System) First, Point A rotates faster than Point B (U A > U B ) U A > U B A northward motion starting at A will arrive to the east of B It looks like there is a force pushing the northward motion toward right This apparent force is called Coriolis force : Coriolis Force = f V where f = 2* *Sin(lat) and =7.292x10-5 rad s -1 (see Section 6.4 and Eq of Global Physical Climatology)

8 Newton s 2 nd Law in a Rotating Frame using covert acceleration from an inertial to a rotating frames absolute velocity of an object on the rotating earth is equal to its velocity relative to the earth plus the velocity due to the rotation of the earth [Here ] Coriolis force Centrifugal force

9 Coriolis Force Coriolis force causes the wind to deflect to the right of its intent path in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. The magnitude of Coriolis force depends on (1) the rotation of the Earth, (2) the speed of the moving object, and (3) its latitudinal location. The larger the speed (such as wind speed), the stronger the Coriolis force. The higher the latitude, the stronger the Coriolis force. The Corioils force is zero at the equator. Coriolis force is one major factor that determine weather pattern.

10 How Does Coriolis Force Affect Wind Motion? (from Weather & Climate)

11 Geostrophic Balance H L Coriolis force pressure gradient force By doing scale analysis, it has been shown that large-scale and synopticscale weather system are in geostropic balance. Geostrophic winds always follow the constant pressure lines (isobar). Therefore, we can figure out flow motion by looking at the pressure distribution.

12 Single-Cell Model: Explains Why There are Tropical Easterlies Without Earth Rotation With Earth Rotation Coriolis Force (Figures from Understanding Weather & Climate and The Earth System)

13 Breakdown of the Single Cell Three-Cell Model Absolute angular momentum at Equator = Absolute angular momentum at 60 N The observed zonal velocity at the equatoru is u eq = -5 m/sec. Therefore, the total velocity at the equator is U=rotational velocity (U 0 + u Eq ) The zonal wind velocity at 60 N (u 60N ) can be determined by the following: (U 0 + u Eq ) * a * Cos(0 ) = (U 60N + u 60N ) * a * Cos(60 ) ( *a*cos0-5) * a * Cos0 = ( *a*cos60 + u 60N ) * a * Cos(60 ) u 60N = 687 m/sec!!!! This high wind speed is not observed!

14 Properties of the Three Cells thermally direct circulation thermally indirect circulation JS JP Hadley Cell Ferrel Cell (driven by eddies) Polar Cell L H L H Equator (warmer) (warm) (cold) Pole (colder)

15 Atmospheric Circulation: Zonal-mean Views Single-Cell Model Three-Cell Model (Figures from Understanding Weather & Climate and The Earth System)

16 The Three Cells ITCZ (Figures from Understanding Weather & Climate and The Earth System) Subtropical High midlatitude Weather system

17 Semi-Permanent Pressure Cells The Aleutian, Icelandic, and Tibetan lows The oceanic (continental) lows achieve maximum strength during winter (summer) months The summertime Tibetan low is important to the east-asia monsoon Siberian, Hawaiian, and Bermuda-Azores highs The oceanic (continental) highs achieve maximum strength during summer (winter) months

18 January

19 July

20 Sinking Branches and Deserts (from Weather & Climate)

21 Global Distribution of Deserts (from Global Physical Climatology)

22 Subtropical and Polar Jet Streams Subtropical Jet Located at the higher-latitude end of the Hadley Cell. The jet obtain its maximum wind speed (westerly) due the conservation of angular momentum. Polar Jet Located at the thermal boundary between the tropical warm air and the polar cold air. The jet obtain its maximum wind speed (westerly) due the latitudinal thermal gradient (thermal wind relation). (from Atmospheric Circulation Systems)

23 Jet Streams Near the Western US Pineapple Express (from Riehl (1962), Palmen and Newton (1969)) Both the polar and subtropical jet streams can affect weather and climate in the western US (such as California). El Nino can affect western US climate by changing the locations and strengths of these two jet streams.

24 Extratropical Cyclones in North America Cyclones preferentially form in five locations in North America: (1) East of the Rocky Mountains (2) East of Canadian Rockies (3) Gulf Coast of the US (4) East Coast of the US (5) Bering Sea & Gulf of Alaska 24

25 The Zonal Mean Circulation Zonal average: Temporal average: Climatological zonal averages are usually obtained by averaging over both longitude and time. Eddies = deviations from zonal averages Transients = deviations from time averages

26 Atmospheric Circulation and Temperature Zonal Wind Temperature

27 Atmospheric Circulation Zonal Wind (from Global Physical Climatology)

28 Properties of the Three Cells thermally direct circulation thermally indirect circulation JS JP Hadley Cell Ferrel Cell (driven by eddies) Polar Cell L H L H Equator (warmer) (warm) (cold) Pole (colder)

29 Hadley Cell Ferrel Cell (driven by eddies) Polar Cell L H L H Equator (warmer) (warm) (cold) Pole (colder) (from Global Physical Climatology)

30 Equator Off-Equatorial Heating.. We find that moving peak heating even 2 degree off the equator leads to profound asymmetries in the Hadley circulation, with the winter cell amplifying greatly and the summer cell becoming negligible. --- Lindzen and Hou (1988; JAS) winter hemisphere

31 (from Global Physical Climatology) Equator summer summer winter hemisphere

32 In the annual mean, the rising branch is displaced slightly into the Northern Hemisphere, and the Hadley cell in the Southern Hemisphere is stronger. This asymmetry corresponds to a weak transport of energy from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere.

33 Stationary and Transient Eddies total heat transport heat transport by mean flows heat transport by transient eddies heat transport by stationary eddies

34 Stationary Eddies Pineapple Express Stationary eddies result from the east west variations in (1) surface elevation and (2) surface temperature associated with the continents and oceans. Stationary eddy fluxes are largest in the Northern Hemisphere where the Himalaya and Rocky Mountain ranges provide mechanical forcing of east west variations in the time mean winds and temperatures. (from Riehl (1962), Palmen and Newton (1969)) The thermal contrast between the warm waters of the Kuroshio and Gulf Stream ocean currents and the cold temperatures in the interiors of the continents also provides strong thermal forcing of stationary planetary waves during winter.

35 Transient Eddies Transient eddy fluxes are associated with the rapidly developing and decaying weather disturbances of midlatitudes. They generally move eastward with the prevailing flow. These disturbances are very apparent on weather maps and have typical periods of several days to 1 week. The positive correlation between poleward velocity and temperature enables these transient eddies to produce efficient poleward transports of heat (and moisture).

36 Poleward Heat Flux by Eddies Stationary Eddies Transient Eddies (from Global Physical Climatology)

37 Four Types of Energy in Atmosphere Internal energy: associated with the temperature of the atmosphere. Potential energy: associated with the gravitational potential of air some distance above the surface. Kinetic energy: associated with air motion. Latent energy: associated with moisture. Together internal and potential energy constitute about 97% of the energy of the atmosphere. Kinetic energy comprises a small fraction of the total energy

38 Moist Static Energy The meridional transport of energy by the atmosphere may be divided into contributions from sensible, geopotential and latent forms that comprise the moist static energy. Moist static energy is moved around by the motions of the atmosphere and these transports can be integrated through the mass of the atmosphere to reveal the total meridional flux of energy in various forms. The Hadley cell transports both sensible and latent heat equatorward in the tropics. (read pages for a discussion of how moist static energy is transported by the Hadley cell).

39 Angular Momentum Balance Atmospheric eddies transport angular momentum poleward and downward into the mid-latitude westerlies. Where the surface winds are westerly, the atmosphere is rotating faster than Earth s surface and the eastward momentum is returned to Earth. The general circulation of the atmosphere is heavily constrained by the conservation of angular momentum. In the tropical surface easterlies, where the atmosphere rotates more slowly than Earth s surface, eastward angular momentum is transferred from Earth to the atmosphere via frictional forces and pressure forces acting on mountains. This westerly angular momentum is transported upward and then poleward in the Hadley cell.

40 Parameters Determining Mid-latitude Weather Temperature differences between the equator and poles The rate of rotation of the Earth.

41 Cooling Outside Rotating Annulus Experiment Heating Inside (from Is The Temperature Rising? )

42 New Understanding of Cyclone after WWII Carl Rossby mathematically expressed relationships between mid-latitude cyclones and the upper air during WWII. Carl Gustav Rossby ( ) Mid-latitude cyclones are a large-scale waves (now called Rossby waves) that grow from the baroclinic instabiloity associated with the north-south temperature differences in middle latitudes.

43 Polar Front Theory Bjerknes, the founder of the Bergen school of meteorology, developed polar front theory during WWI to describe the formation, growth, and dissipation of mid-latitude cyclones. Vilhelm Bjerknes ( )

44 East-West Circulation (from Flohn (1971)) The east-west circulation in the atmosphere is related to the sea/land distribution on the Earth.

45

46 Walker Circulation and Ocean

47 Monsoon: Sea/Land-Related Circulation Monsoon (Arabic season ) Monsoon is a climate feature that is characterized by the seasonal reversal in surface winds. The very different heat capacity of land and ocean surface is the key mechanism that produces monsoons. Courtesy of Kevin G. Cannariato During summer seasons, land surface heats up faster than the ocean. Low pressure center is established over land while high pressure center is established over oceans. Winds blow from ocean to land and bring large amounts of water vapor to produce heavy precipitation over land: A rainy season. During winters, land surface cools down fast and sets up a high pressure center. Winds blow from land to ocean: a dry season.

48 January

49 July

50 How Many Monsoons Worldwide? North America Monsoon Asian Monsoon Australian Monsoon South America Monsoon (figure from Weather & Climate) Africa Monsoon

51 Seasonal Cycle of Rainfall (from IRI) Indian Monsoon Australian Monsoon

### warmest (coldest) temperatures at summer heat dispersed upward by vertical motion Prof. Jin-Yi Yu ESS200A heated by solar radiation at the base

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