Zonal jets as transport barriers in planetary atmospheres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The connection between transport barriers and potential vorticity (PV) barriers in PV-conserving flows is investigated with a focus on zonal jets in planetary atmospheres. A perturbed PV staircase model is used to illustrate important concepts. This flow consists of a sequence of narrow eastward and broad westward zonal jets with a staircase PV structure; the PV steps are at the latitudes of the cores of the eastward jets. Numerically simulated solutions to the quasigeostrophic PV conservation equation in a perturbed PV staircase flow are presented. These simulations reveal that both eastward and westward zonal jets serve as robust meridional transport barriers. The surprise is that westward jets, across which the background PV gradient vanishes, serve as robust transport barriers. A theoretical explanation of the underlying barrier mechanism is provided. It is argued that transport barriers near the cores of westward zonal jets, across which the background PV gradient is small, are found in Jupiter's midlatitude weather layer and in the earth's summer hemisphere subtropical stratosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3316-3326
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume65
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

Fingerprint

planetary atmosphere
potential vorticity
Jupiter
stratosphere
weather

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Zonal jets as transport barriers in planetary atmospheres. / Beron-Vera, Francisco J; Brown, Michael G; Olascoaga, Maria J; Rypina, I. I.; Kocak, Huseyin; Udovydchenkov, I. A.

In: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 65, No. 10, 2008, p. 3316-3326.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a108b436b81e400590f4dd286e451dc8,
title = "Zonal jets as transport barriers in planetary atmospheres",
abstract = "The connection between transport barriers and potential vorticity (PV) barriers in PV-conserving flows is investigated with a focus on zonal jets in planetary atmospheres. A perturbed PV staircase model is used to illustrate important concepts. This flow consists of a sequence of narrow eastward and broad westward zonal jets with a staircase PV structure; the PV steps are at the latitudes of the cores of the eastward jets. Numerically simulated solutions to the quasigeostrophic PV conservation equation in a perturbed PV staircase flow are presented. These simulations reveal that both eastward and westward zonal jets serve as robust meridional transport barriers. The surprise is that westward jets, across which the background PV gradient vanishes, serve as robust transport barriers. A theoretical explanation of the underlying barrier mechanism is provided. It is argued that transport barriers near the cores of westward zonal jets, across which the background PV gradient is small, are found in Jupiter's midlatitude weather layer and in the earth's summer hemisphere subtropical stratosphere.",
author = "Beron-Vera, {Francisco J} and Brown, {Michael G} and Olascoaga, {Maria J} and Rypina, {I. I.} and Huseyin Kocak and Udovydchenkov, {I. A.}",
year = "2008",
doi = "10.1175/2008JAS2579.1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "65",
pages = "3316--3326",
journal = "Journals of the Atmospheric Sciences",
issn = "0022-4928",
publisher = "American Meteorological Society",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Zonal jets as transport barriers in planetary atmospheres

AU - Beron-Vera, Francisco J

AU - Brown, Michael G

AU - Olascoaga, Maria J

AU - Rypina, I. I.

AU - Kocak, Huseyin

AU - Udovydchenkov, I. A.

PY - 2008

Y1 - 2008

N2 - The connection between transport barriers and potential vorticity (PV) barriers in PV-conserving flows is investigated with a focus on zonal jets in planetary atmospheres. A perturbed PV staircase model is used to illustrate important concepts. This flow consists of a sequence of narrow eastward and broad westward zonal jets with a staircase PV structure; the PV steps are at the latitudes of the cores of the eastward jets. Numerically simulated solutions to the quasigeostrophic PV conservation equation in a perturbed PV staircase flow are presented. These simulations reveal that both eastward and westward zonal jets serve as robust meridional transport barriers. The surprise is that westward jets, across which the background PV gradient vanishes, serve as robust transport barriers. A theoretical explanation of the underlying barrier mechanism is provided. It is argued that transport barriers near the cores of westward zonal jets, across which the background PV gradient is small, are found in Jupiter's midlatitude weather layer and in the earth's summer hemisphere subtropical stratosphere.

AB - The connection between transport barriers and potential vorticity (PV) barriers in PV-conserving flows is investigated with a focus on zonal jets in planetary atmospheres. A perturbed PV staircase model is used to illustrate important concepts. This flow consists of a sequence of narrow eastward and broad westward zonal jets with a staircase PV structure; the PV steps are at the latitudes of the cores of the eastward jets. Numerically simulated solutions to the quasigeostrophic PV conservation equation in a perturbed PV staircase flow are presented. These simulations reveal that both eastward and westward zonal jets serve as robust meridional transport barriers. The surprise is that westward jets, across which the background PV gradient vanishes, serve as robust transport barriers. A theoretical explanation of the underlying barrier mechanism is provided. It is argued that transport barriers near the cores of westward zonal jets, across which the background PV gradient is small, are found in Jupiter's midlatitude weather layer and in the earth's summer hemisphere subtropical stratosphere.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=47149092922&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=47149092922&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1175/2008JAS2579.1

DO - 10.1175/2008JAS2579.1

M3 - Article

VL - 65

SP - 3316

EP - 3326

JO - Journals of the Atmospheric Sciences

JF - Journals of the Atmospheric Sciences

SN - 0022-4928

IS - 10

ER -