European Turbulence Conference 14

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A new formulation of the spectral energy budget of the atmosphere, with application to two high-resolution general circulation models

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In order to investigate the dynamics of atmospheric turbulence, we have derived a new formulation of the spectral energy budget of kinetic and available potential energies of the atmosphere, with spherical harmonics as base functions. Compared to previous formulations, there are three main improvements: (i) the topography is taken into account, (ii) the exact three-dimensional advection terms are considered and (iii) the vertical flux is separated from the energy transfer between different spherical harmonics. Using this formulation, results from two different high resolution GCMs are analyzed: the AFES T639L24 and the ECMWF IFS T1279L91.
The spectral fluxes show that the AFES, which reproduces realistic horizontal spectra with a k^−5/3 inertial range at the mesoscales, simulates a strong downscale energy cascade. In contrast, neither the k^−5/3 vertically integrated spectra nor the downscale energy cascade are produced by the ECMWF IFS.


PIerre Augier    
KTH, Linné Flow Center


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