Synoptic-Scale Zonal Available Potential Energy Increases in the Northern Hemisphere

Kevin A. Bowley, Eyad H. Atallah, John R. Gyakum
  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, July 2018, American Meteorological Society
  • DOI: 10.1175/jas-d-17-0292.1

North Pacific warming and Alaskan cooling increase the atmosphere's energy

What is it about?

Available potential energy measures generally measures how strong the difference in temperature is from the equators to the poles. This is important for understanding how strong the general circulation is of the atmosphere, which is best described as how intense the jet stream is. We show pathways for how available potential energy can be generated over a 3-10 day period, which is much shorter than what many previous studies have examined. We find that eastern North Pacific warming and Alaskan cooling act to increase this pole to equator difference in temperature (and available potential energy).

Why is it important?

We show that regional changes in air mass properties can act to robustly increase the available potential energy reserve for the Northern Hemisphere, which may hold important information for the predictability of ensuing depletion events. The relative roles of changes in the baroclinic conversion of available potential energy to eddy kinetic energy and in the generation of available potential energy are examined in new detail.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/jas-d-17-0292.1

The following have contributed to this page: Dr. Kevin A Bowley

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