New nonlinear mechanisms of midlatitude atmospheric low-frequency variability

A. E. Sterk*, R. Vitolo, H. W. Broer, C. Simo, H. A. Dijkstra

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

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    This paper studies the dynamical mechanisms potentially involved in the so-called atmospheric low-frequency variability, occurring at midlatitudes in the Northern Hemisphere This phenomenon is characterised by recurrent non-propagating and temporally persistent flow patterns, with typical spatial and temporal scales of 6000-10000 km and 10-50 days, respectively

    We study a low-order model derived from the 2-layer shallow-water equations on a beta-plane channel The main ingredients of the low-order model are a zonal flow, a planetary scale wave, orography, and a baroclinic-like forcing

    A systematic analysis of the dynamics of the low-order model is performed using techniques and concepts from dynamical systems theory Orography height (h(0)) and magnitude of zonal wind forcing (U(0)) are used as control parameters to study the bifurcations of equilibria and periodic orbits Along two curves of Hopf bifurcations an equilibrium loses stability (U(0) >= 12 5 m/s) and gives birth to two distinct families of periodic orbits These periodic orbits bifurcate into strange attractors along three routes to chaos period doubling cascades, breakdown of 2-tori by homo- and heteroclinic bifurcations, or intermittency (U(0) >= 14 5 m/s and h(0) >= 800 m)

    The observed attractors exhibit spatial and temporal low-frequency patterns comparing well with those observed in the atmosphere For h(0) = 800 m, the period is longer (30-60 days) and patterns in the vorticity field are non-propagating. The dynamics on the strange attractors are associated with low-frequency variability the vorticity fields show weakening and strengthening of non-propagating planetary waves on time scales of 10-200 days The spatio-temporal characteristics are "inherited" (by intermittency) from the two families of periodic orbits and are detected in a relatively large region of the parameter plane This scenario provides a characterisation of low-frequency variability in terms of intermittency due to bifurcations of waves (C) 2010 Elsevier B V All rights reserved

    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)702-718
    Aantal pagina's17
    TijdschriftPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
    Nummer van het tijdschrift10
    StatusPublished - 15-mei-2010

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