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A simple model of the global angular momentum budget

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Basic features of the observed auto- and crosscovariance functions of the axial global angular momentum and of the related mountain and friction torques are interpreted in the light of a simple linear β-plane model. Rossby waves are exited by white noise forcing in this barotropic model. Their propagation over a topographic feature yields mountain torques which act on the angular momentum. It is shown that the observed autocorrelation of the mountain torque and its crosscorrelations with the global angular momentum are captured quite well by the linear model. This suggests that the observed global mountain torque mainly reflects the linear motion of planetary wave modes over topography. The impact of the mountains on the waves is of minor importance in this context.

Grundzu¨ge der beobachteten Auto- und Kreuzkovarianzfunktionen des globalen Drehimpulses und der zugeho¨rigen Reibungs- und Gebirgsdrehmomente werden anhand eines einfachen linearen Modells barotroper Stro¨mungen in der β-Ebene interpretiert. In diesem Modell werden Rossbywellen durch einen stochastischen Antrieb vom Typ des weißen Rauschens angefacht. Sie bewegen sich u¨ber ein Gebirge hinweg und u¨ben dadurch ein orographisches Drehmoment aus, das den gesamten Drehimpuls der Stro¨mung beeinflusst. Es zeigt sich, dass das lineare Modell die beobachtete Autokorrelationsfunktion des globalen Drehmoments durch Gebirge und dessen Kreuzkorrelation mit dem Drehimpuls wiedergibt. Dies legt nahe, dass das beobachtete orographische Drehmoment vor allem die lineare Bewegung von Rossbywellen u¨ber Gebirgen widerspiegelt. Der Einfluss der Gebirge auf die Rossbywellen ist in diesem Zusammenhang von geringer Bedeutung.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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