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Equatorial global angular momentum: wind and mass terms

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The normal mode theory of barotropic spherical flow predicts a close relation of the mass and wind terms of the equatorial components of global atmospheric angular momentum. Observations do not support this theoretical prediction. Here, an attempt is made to explain this discrepancy. Data are used to calculate modified equatorial wind terms where density is only a function of height. It is demonstrated that these modified wind terms capture only a small fraction of the true wind terms. This shows that covariances of density and wind as excluded in the normal mode theory contribute strongly to the wind terms. On the other hand, the results suggest that normal mode theory is useful in describing the response of equatorial angular momentum to mountains.

Im Rahmen der Theorie der Normalmoden einer barotropen Atmospha¨re auf der Kugel erwartet man eine enge Verknu¨pfung der Massen- und Windterme der a¨quatorialen Komponenten des globalen Drehimpulses. Diese Erwartung wird nicht durch Beobachtungen besta¨tigt. Zur Aufkla¨rung dieser Diskrepanz wird anhand von Daten ein modifizierter Windterm berechnet, bei dem die Dichte nur eine Funktion der Ho¨he ist. Es zeigt sich, dass dieser modifizierte Windterm nur einen Bruchteil des Windterms selbst erfasst. Daraus folgt, dass das Zusammenspiel von Dichte und Wind, das in der Normalmodentheorie keine Rolle spielt, einen wichtigen Beitrag zum Windterm leistet. Andererseits zeigt sich, dass die Normalmodentheorie bei dem Studium der Reaktion des a¨quatorialen Drehimpulses auf orographische Drehmomente von Nutzen sein sollte.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: 2003-08-01

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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