Transformations for temperature flux in multiscale models of the tropics

Joseph A. Biello, Andrew J. Majda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

How much of the observed planetary-scale heating in the tropics is due to eddy flux convergence? A mathematical framework to address this important practical issue is developed here. We describe a pair of velocity transformations that remove components of the upscale temperature flux in the multiscale intraseasonal, planetary, equatorial synoptic-scale dynamics (IPESD) framework derived by Majda and Klein [J. Atmos. Sci. 60: 393-408, (2003)]. Using examples from the models of the Madden-Julian Oscillation of Biello and Majda [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 101: 4736-4741, (2004); J. Atmos. Sci. 62: 1694-1721, (2005); Dyn. Oceans Atmos., in press] we demonstrate that the transformation for the meridional temperature flux convergence is possible with any restrictions on the heating profile, we show under which conditions the transformation for the vertical temperature flux convergence exists and, further, that the meridional transformation leads to a reinterpretation of lower troposphere Ekman dissipation as active heating plus zonal momentum drag. The meridional temperature flux transformation and induced meridional circulation is a new, tropical wave example of the transformed Eulerian mean theory in the case of strong vertical stratification of potential temperature. The asymptotic ordering of the flows means that the removal of the meridional temperature flux convergence has implications for how planetary-scale heating rates are inferred from velocity convergence measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-420
Number of pages16
JournalTheoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics
Volume20
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Fingerprint

multiscale models
Tropics
Multiscale Model
tropical regions
Fluxes
Heating
heating
temperature
Temperature
Madden-Julian Oscillation
Vertical
Madden-Julian oscillation
meridional circulation
potential temperature
Troposphere
drag
dissipation
Stratification
troposphere
stratification

Keywords

  • Multiscale models
  • Transformed Eulerian mean
  • Tropical meteorology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Oceanography
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Transformations for temperature flux in multiscale models of the tropics. / Biello, Joseph A.; Majda, Andrew J.

In: Theoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics, Vol. 20, No. 5-6, 11.2006, p. 405-420.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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