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The forcing of the mean meridional circulation

R. Mureau

With a linear model of the zonal mean circulation an estimate was made of the relative contribution of the various forcing terms to the zonally
averaged circulation. The forcing terms considered were the eddy forcing due to the convergence of the horizontal fluxes of heat and momentum, and an idealized diabatic heating (radiation and condensational heating). The eddy forcing was derived from observations (Oort and Rasmussen, 1971).
The diabatic heating was prescribed analytically. Both forcings together generate a three cell mean meridional circulation and a zonal mean wind distribution which compare well with observations. The model is not able to make a good simulation of the temperature field. The eddies are responsible for a meridional circulation consisting of three cells, equal in strength. The standing eddy part of the forcing is negligible. The diabatic heating forces a one cell direct circulation. The zonal mean wind and temperature field is mainly generated by the diabatic heating.

Bibliografische gegevens

R. Mureau. The forcing of the mean meridional circulation
KNMI number: WR-83-06, Year: 1983, Pages: 26

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