2017 JAN 10 | RA1 Seminar with Thomas Spengler

Welcome to the first seminar in the new Bolin Centre Seminar Series!

The host this time is Research Area 1: Oceans‐atmosphere dynamics and climate

Maintenance of Baroclinicity and Storm Tracks in the North Atlantic

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Thomas Spengler, University of Bergen
Time: January 10 at 13h00–14h00
Place: Ahlmannsalen, Geoscience Building

The lectures will usually be streamed and saved on the Bolin Centre website. However, this time the streaming will kindly be hosted by ACES

The maintenance of baroclinicity along the mid- and high-latitude storm tracks is a matter of ongoing debate. Using an isentropic framework, a novel diagnostic based on the tendency equation for the slope of isentropic surfaces – a measure of the potential for baroclinic development – is presented. The tendency comprises contributions from dynamic processes, latent heat release, radiation, and sub-gridscale turbulence, which incorporates the effect of sensible heat fluxes. A climatology of these tendencies over the North Atlantic is compiled for the winters 2009 and 2010.
It is found that adiabatic tilting flattens the isentropic surfaces, reflecting the action of growing baroclinic cyclones. This tendency is climatologically balanced by the generation of slope by diabatic processes. In the lower troposphere, the most intense diabatic increase of slope is found along the oceanic frontal zone associated with the Gulf Stream and at higher latitudes in the Labrador Sea, the Nordic Seas and the Barents Sea. Latent heat release and sensible heat fluxes both contribute substantially in these regions. A quantitative analysis of cold air outbreaks emphasises their important role for restoring the slope in the lower troposphere over the Gulf Stream region and off the sea-ice edge at high latitudes. In the upper troposphere, latent heat release due to cloud microphysical processes is the dominant mechanism maintaining the slope.


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Watch it at Bolin Centre youtube Channel!


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