Two-fluid single-column modelling of Rayleigh-Bénard convection as a step towards multi-fluid modelling of atmospheric convection

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Daniel Shipley , Hilary Weller, Peter Clark , Will McIntyre


Multi-fluid models have recently been proposed as an approach to improving the representation of convection in weather and climate models. This is an attractive framework as it is fundamentally dynamical, removing some of the assumptions of mass-flux convection schemes which are invalid at current model resolutions. However, it is still not understood how best to close the multi-fluid equations for atmospheric convection. In this paper we develop a simple two-fluid, single-column model with one rising and one falling fluid. No further modelling of sub-filter variability is included. We then apply this model to Rayleigh-Bénard convection, showing that, with minimal closures, the correct scaling of the heat flux (Nu) is predicted over six orders of magnitude of buoyancy forcing (Ra). This suggests that even a very simple two-fluid model can accurately capture the dominant coherent overturning structures of convection.



Atmospheric Sciences


atmosphere, convection, Rayleigh-Bénard, parametrization, multi-fluid


Published: 2021-06-17 12:43


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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Conflict of interest statement:
The authors declare no competing interests.

Data Availability (Reason not available):
We would like to make the data publicly available, but I haven't got around to doing it yet.

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