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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26389

Title: Stationary Waves in the Stratosphere-troposphere Circulation
Authors: Wang, Lei
Advisor: Kushner, Paul
Department: Physics
Keywords: stationary wave
stationary wave modelling
general circulation
Rossby wave dynamics
stratospheric circulation
critical layer reflection
coupled chemistry model
Issue Date: 23-Feb-2011
Abstract: Stationary wave theory elucidates the dynamics of the time mean zonally asymmetric component of the atmospheric circulation and separates it from the dynamics of the zonal mean climatological flow. This thesis focuses on the dynamics of stationary wave nonlinearity and its applications in stationary wave modelling and the stationary wave response to climate change. Stationary wave nonlinearity describes the self-interaction of stationary waves and is important in maintaining the observed zonally asymmetric atmospheric general circulation. Stationary wave nonlinearity is examined in quasi-geostrophic barotropic dynamics in both the presence and absence of transient waves. Stationary wave nonlinearity is shown to account for most of the difference between the linear and full nonlinear stationary waves, particularly if the zonal-mean flow adjustment to the stationary waves is taken into account. Wave activity analysis shows that stationary wave nonlinearity in this setting is associated with Rossby wave critical layer reflection. A time-integration type nonlinear stationary wave modelling technique is tested in this simple barotropic setting and is shown to be able to predict stationary wave nonlinearity and capture the basic features of the full nonlinear stationary wave. A baroclinic nonlinear stationary wave model is then developed using this technique and is applied to the problem of the stationary wave response to climate change. Previous stationary wave modelling has largely focused on the tropospheric circulation, but the stationary wave field extends into the stratosphere and plays an important dynamical role there. This stationary wave model is able to represent the stratospheric stationary wave field and is used to analyze the Northern Hemisphere stationary wave response to climate change simulated by the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model (CMAM). In the CMAM simulation changes to the zonal mean basic state alone can explain much of the stationary wave response, which is largely controlled by changes of the zonal mean circulation in the Northern Hemisphere subtropical upper troposphere. However, details of the stratospheric wave driving response are also sensitive to other aspects of the zonal-mean response and to the heating response. Many climate change related effects appear to contribute robustly to an increased wave activity flux into the stratosphere.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/26389
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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