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  • American Meteorological Society  (25)
  • World Scientific Publishing Company  (1)
  • 1
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 48 (2). pp. 261-281.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Multi-year moored velocity observations of the Angola Current near 11°S reveal a weak southward mean flow superimposed by substantial intraseasonal to seasonal variability, including annual and semiannual cycles with distinct baroclinic structures. In the equatorial Atlantic these oscillations are associated with basin-mode resonances of the fourth and second baroclinic modes, respectively. Here, the role of basin-mode resonance and local forcing for the Angola Current seasonality are investigated. A suite of linear shallow-water models for the tropical Atlantic is employed, each model representing a single baroclinic mode forced at a specific period. The annually and semiannually oscillating forcing is given by 1) an idealized zonally uniform zonal forcing restricted to the equatorial band corresponding to a remote equatorial forcing or 2) realistic, spatially-varying Fourier components of wind stress data that include local forcing off Angola, particularly alongshore winds. Model-computed modal amplitudes are scaled to match moored velocity observations from the equatorial Atlantic. The observed annual cycle of alongshore velocity at 11°S is well reproduced by the remote equatorial forcing. Including local forcing slightly improves the agreement between observed and simulated semiannual oscillations at 11°S compared to the purely equatorial forcing. However, the model-computed semiannual cycle lacks amplitude at mid-depth. This could be the result of either underestimating the strength of the second equatorial basin-mode of the fourth baroclinic mode or other processes not accounted for in the shallow-water models. Overall, our findings underline the importance of large-scale linear equatorial wave dynamics for the seasonal variability of the boundary circulation off Angola.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-04-01
    Description: Benthic storms are important for both the energy budget of the ocean and for sediment resuspension and transport. Using 30 years of output from a high-resolution model of the North Atlantic, it is found that most of the benthic storms in the model occur near the western boundary in association with the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Current, in regions that are generally co-located with the peak near-bottom eddy kinetic energy. A common feature are meander troughs in the near-surface jets that are accompanied by deep low pressure anomalies spinning up deep cyclones with near-bottom velocities of up to more than 0.5 m/s. A case study of one of these events shows the importance of both baroclinic and barotropic instability of the jet, with energy being extracted from the jet in the upstream part of the meander trough and partly returned to the jet in the downstream part of the meander trough. This motivates examining the 30-year time mean of the energy transfer from the (annual mean) background flow into the eddy kinetic energy. This quantity is shown to be co-located well with the region in which benthic storms and large increases in deep cyclonic relative vorticity occur most frequently, suggesting an important role for mixed barotropic-baroclinic instability driven cyclogenesis in generating benthic storms throughout the model simulation. Regions of largest energy transfer and most frequent benthic storms are found to be the Gulf Stream west of the New England Seamounts and the North Atlantic Current near Flemish Cap.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 37 . pp. 727-742.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-11
    Description: Output from an eddy-resolving model of the North Atlantic Ocean is used to estimate values for the thickness diffusivity κ appropriate to the Gent and McWilliams parameterization. The effect of different choices of rotational eddy fluxes on the estimated κ is discussed. Using the raw fluxes (no rotational flux removed), large negative values (exceeding −5000 m2 s−1) of κ are diagnosed locally, particularly in the Gulf Stream region and in the equatorial Atlantic. Removing a rotational flux based either on the suggestion of Marshall and Shutts or the more general theory of Medvedev and Greatbatch leads to a reduction of the negative values, but they are still present. The regions where κ 〈 0 correspond to regions where eddies are acting to increase, rather than decrease (as in baroclinic instability) the mean available potential energy. In the subtropical gyre, κ ranges between 500 and 2000 m2 s−1, rapidly decreasing to zero below the thermocline in all cases. Rotational fluxes and κ are also estimated using an optimization technique. In this case, |κ| can be reduced or increased by construction, but the regions where κ 〈 0 are still present and the optimized rotational fluxes also remain similar to a priori values given by the theoretical considerations. A previously neglected component (ν) of the bolus velocity is associated with the horizontal flux of buoyancy along, rather than across, the mean buoyancy contours. The ν component of the bolus velocity is interpreted as a streamfunction for eddy-induced advection, rather than diffusion, of mean isopycnal layer thickness, showing up when the lateral eddy fluxes cannot be described by isotropic diffusion only. All estimates show a similar large-scale pattern for ν, implying westward advection of isopycnal thickness over much of the subtropical gyre. Comparing ν with a mean streamfunction shows that it is about 10% of the mean in midlatitudes and even larger than the mean in the Tropics.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 4
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 42 (5). pp. 824-839.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-12
    Description: The mechanisms involved in setting the annual cycle of the Florida Current transport are revisited using an adjoint model approach. Adjoint sensitivities of the Florida Current transport to wind stress reproduce a realistic seasonal cycle with an amplitude of ~1.2 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1). The annual cycle is predominantly determined by wind stress forcing and related coastal upwelling (downwelling) north of the Florida Strait along the shelf off the North American coast. Fast barotropic waves propagate these anomalies southward and reach the Florida Strait within a month, causing an amplitude of ~1 Sv. Long baroclinic planetary Rossby waves originating from the interior are responsible for an amplitude of ~0.8 Sv but have a different phase. The sensitivities corresponding to the first baroclinic mode propagate westward and are highly influenced by topography. Considerable sensitivities are only found west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, with maximum values at the western shelf edge. The second baroclinic mode also has an impact on the Florida Current variability, but only when a mean flow is present. A second-mode wave train propagates southwestward from the ocean bottom on the western side of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between ~36° and 46°N and at Flemish Cap, where the mean flow interacts with topography, to the surface. Other processes such as baroclinic waves along the shelf and local forcing within the Florida Strait are of minor importance.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 5
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 70 (7). pp. 2103-2118.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-16
    Description: The wintertime northern annular mode (NAM) at the surface is known to undergo slow intraseasonal variations in association with stratospheric variability, which leads the surface signal by up to several weeks. The relative contributions, however, of potentially relevant stratosphere–troposphere coupling mechanisms are not yet fully understood. In this study the relative roles of (i) the downward effect of the zonal-mean secondary circulation induced by quasigeostrophic (QG) adjustment to stratospheric wave drag and radiative damping and (ii) wave drag local to the troposphere are estimated. For this purpose, a spectral tendency equation of the QG zonal-mean zonal wind is derived and used, in a first step, to obtain the external mechanical forcing that, in the QG framework, drives exactly the observed stratospheric and tropospheric daily NAM. In a second step, the equation is then integrated in time to reconstruct the daily NAM, but with the forcing restricted to either stratospheric or tropospheric levels, each case leaving a characteristic NAM surface signal. The relative roles of the above-mentioned mechanisms are found to be of similar quantitative importance, but to differ in a qualitative sense. The downward effect of stratospheric QG adjustment is responsible for the initiation of the NAM surface signal, whereas subsequently local tropospheric wave drag actively maintains and persists the signal over several weeks. Furthermore, the downward effect of QG adjustment to stratospheric radiative damping is shown to have only a minor impact, compared to that from stratospheric wave drag. The robustness of these conclusions is demonstrated by a sensitivity study with respect to various model parameters.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 6
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 71 (6). pp. 2264-2279.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-16
    Description: The dynamical origin of the spectral and autocorrelation structure of annular variability in the troposphere is investigated by a deductive approach. Specifically, the structure of the power spectrum and autocorrelation function of the zonal-mean geopotential is analyzed for the case of a quasigeostrophic spherical atmosphere subject to a white noise mechanical forcing applied in a single Hough mode and concentrated at a particular level in the vertical, with vertically uniform Newtonian cooling and Rayleigh drag concentrated at a rigid lower boundary. Analytic expressions for the power spectrum are presented together with expressions for an approximate red noise (i.e., a Lorentzian-shaped) power spectrum. It is found that for an infinitely deep atmosphere the power spectrum can be well approximated by a red noise process for the first few Hough modes (associated with large Rossby heights), provided the distance from the forcing is not larger than about one Rossby height. When a frictional rigid lower boundary is included, however, the approximation is generally bad. The high-frequency part of the power spectrum exhibits near-exponential behavior and the autocorrelation function shows a transition from a rapid decay at short lags to a much slower decay at longer lags, if the thermal and mechanical damping time scales are sufficiently well separated. Since observed annular variability exhibits the same characteristics, the above results lead to the hypothesis that these characteristics may, to some extent, be intrinsic to the linear zonal-mean response problem—although the need for an additional contribution from eddy feedbacks is also implied by the results.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-04-16
    Description: Classical theory concerning theEliassen–Palmrelation is extended in this study to allowfor a unified treatment of midlatitude inertia–gravity waves (MIGWs), midlatitude Rossby waves (MRWs), and equatorial waves (EQWs). A conservation equation for what the authors call the impulse-bolus (IB) pseudomomentum is useful, because it is applicable to ageostrophic waves, and the associated three-dimensional flux is parallel to the direction of the group velocity of MRWs. The equation has previously been derived in an isentropic coordinate system or a shallow-water model. The authors make an explicit comparison of prognostic equations for the IB pseudomomentum vector and the classical energy-based (CE) pseudomomentum vector, assuming inviscid linear waves in a sufficiently weak mean flow, to provide a basis for the former quantity to be used in an Eulerian time-mean (EM) framework. The authors investigate what makes the three-dimensional fluxes in the IB and CE pseudomomentum equations look in different directions. It is found that the two fluxes are linked by a gauge transformation, previously unmentioned, associated with a divergence-form wave-induced pressure L. The quantity L vanishes for MIGWs and becomes nonzero for MRWs and EQWs, and it may be estimated using the virial theorem. Concerning the effect of waves on the mean flow, L represents an additional effect in the pressure gradient term of both (the three-dimensional versions of) the transformed EM momentum equations and the merged form of the EMmomentumequations, the latter of which is associated with the nonacceleration theorem.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 8
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    World Scientific Publishing Company
    In:  In: Indo-Pacific Climate Variability and Predictability. , ed. by Behera, S. K. and Yamagata, T. World Scientific Series on Asia-Pacific Weather and Climate, 7 . World Scientific Publishing Company, Singapore, pp. 109-134. ISBN 978-981-4696-61-6
    Publication Date: 2015-12-11
    Description: This article reviews the energy cycle of the global ocean circulation, focusing on the role of baroclinic mesoscale eddies. Two of the important effects of mesoscale eddies are: (i) the flattening of the slope of large-scale isopycnal surfaces by the eddy-induced overturning circulation, the basis for the Gent–McWilliams parametrization; and (ii) the vertical redistribution of the momentum of basic geostrophic currents by the eddy-induced form stress (the residual effect of pressure perturbations), the basis for the Greatbatch–Lamb parametrization. While only point (i) can be explained using the classical Lorenz energy diagram, both (i) and (ii) can be explained using the modified energy diagram of Bleck as in the following energy cycle. Wind forcing provides an input to the mean KE, which is then transferred to the available potential energy (APE) of the large-scale field by the wind-induced Ekman flow. Subsequently, the APE is extracted by the eddy-induced overturning circulation to feed the mean KE, indicating the enhancement of the vertical shear of the basic current. Meanwhile, the vertical shear of the basic current is relaxed by the eddy-induced form stress, taking the mean KE to endow the eddy field with an energy cascade. The above energy cycle is useful for understanding the dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. On the other hand, while the source of the eddy field energy has become clearer, identifying the sink and flux of the eddy field energy in both physical and spectral space remains major challenges of present-day oceanography. A recent study using a combination of models, satellite altimetry, and climatological hydrographic data shows that the western boundary acts as a “graveyard” for the westward-propagating eddies.
    Type: Book chapter , PeerReviewed
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  • 9
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 28 (1). pp. 168-185.
    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Variations in the global tropospheric zonal mean zonal wind ([U]) during boreal winter are investigated using Rotated Empirical Orthogonal Functions applied to monthly means. The first two modes correspond to the Northern and Southern Annular Mode and modes 3 and 4 represent variability in the tropics. One is related to El Niño Southern Oscillation and the other has variability that is highly correlated with the time series of [U] at 150 hPa between 5°N and 5°S ([U150]E) and is related to activity of the Madden-Julian Oscillation. The extratropical response to [U150]E is investigated using linear regressions of 500 hPa geopotential height onto the [U150]E time series. We make use of reanalysis data and of the ensemble mean output from a relaxation experiment using the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts model in which the tropical atmosphere is relaxed towards reanalysis data. The regression analysis reveals that a shift of the Aleutian low and a wave train across the North Atlantic are associated with [U150]E. We find that the subtropical waveguides and the link between the North Pacific and North Atlantic are stronger during the easterly phase of [U150]E. The wave train over the North Atlantic is associated with Rossby wave sources over the subtropical North Pacific and North America. Finally, we show that a linear combination of both [U150]E and the Quasi Biennial Oscillation in the lower stratosphere can explain the circulation anomalies of the anomalously cold European winter of 1962/63 when both were in an extreme easterly phase.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 10
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 45 . pp. 1709-1734.
    Publication Date: 2017-12-19
    Description: We perform eddy-resolving and high-vertical-resolution numerical simulations of the circulation in an idealized equatorial Atlantic Ocean in order to explore the formation of the deep equatorial circulation (DEC) in this basin. Unlike in previous studies, the deep equatorial intraseasonal variability (DEIV) that is believed to be the source of the DEC is generated internally by instabilities of the upper ocean currents. Two main simulations are discussed: Solution 1, configured with a rectangular basin and with wind forcing that is zonally and temporally uniform; and Solution 2, with realistic coastlines and with an annual cycle of wind forcing varying zonally. Somewhat surprisingly, Solution 1 produces the more realistic DEC: The large-vertical-scale currents (Equatorial Intermediate Currents or EICs) are found over a large zonal portion of the basin, and the small-vertical-scale equatorial currents (Equatorial Deep Jets or EDJs) form low-frequency, quasi-resonant, baroclinic equatorial basin modes with phase propagating mostly downward, consistent with observations. We demonstrate that both types of currents arise from the rectification of DEIV, consistent with previous theories. We also find that the EDJs contribute to maintaining the EICs, suggesting that the nonlinear energy transfer is more complex than previously thought. In Solution 2, the DEC is unrealistically weak and less spatially coherent than in the first simulation probably because of its weaker DEIV. Using intermediate solutions, we find that the main reason for this weaker DEIV is the use of realistic coastlines in Solution 2. It remains to be determined, what needs to be modified or included to obtain a realistic DEC in the more realistic configuration.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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