Evidence against a general positive eddy feedback in atmospheric blocking

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Authors

Lei Wang, Zhiming Kuang

Abstract

The eddy straining mechanism of Shutts (1983; S83) has long been considered a main process for explaining the maintenance of atmospheric blocking. As hypothesized in S83, incoming synoptic eddies experience a meridional straining effect when approaching a split jetstream, and as a result, enhanced PV fluxes reinforce the block. A two-layer QG model is adopted here as a minimal model to conduct mechanism-denial experiments. While transient eddies’ forcing is clearly critical to the formation and maintenance of a block, using a large ensemble, the authors demonstrate that the straining of generic eddies does not maintain blocks, thus challenge the idea of eddy straining serving as a positive feedback for the blocks. These results indicate that specific configurations of the eddy field are required for the maintenance stage. The authors also remark on the main supporting evidence in S83: the second-order induced flow is sensitive to the location of the wavemaker.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/osf.io/kmgqv

Subjects

Atmospheric Sciences, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Keywords

quasi-geostrophic model, atmospheric blocking, eddy feedback

Dates

Published: 2019-07-04 13:59

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License

GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1

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