1.4 Wave-Mean Flow Interaction and Superrotation in High-Rossby-Number Atmospheres

Thursday, 10 January 2013: 9:30 AM
Room 16B (Austin Convention Center)
Joao Rafael Dias Pinto, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; and J. L. Mitchell

The general circulation of slowly-rotating planets, such as Venus and Titan, differs from that observed in other planets. This regime is characterized by a superrotating zonal flow which has a larger angular momentum than the underlying solid surface. A convergence of angular momentum is required from transient eddies in order to maintain such winds in the equatorial region. However, some aspects of this interaction between disturbances and mean zonal flow are not fully understood. Here we analyze idealized high-Rossby-number simulations to understand the main equatorial mechanisms in wave-mean flow interaction processes that drive the atmospheric superrotation. These analyses will assess the mechanism behind this phenomenon and will also enable an improvement of its simulation in numerical models.
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