The energy spectrum in a barotropic atmosphere
- Department of Geophysics, Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, University of Concepción, Chile
- on leave from: A. M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
Abstract. In a forced-dissipative barotropic model of the atmosphere on a spherical planet, by following mathematical techniques in (Thompson, P. D.: The equilibrium energy spectrum of randomly forced two-dimensional turbulence, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 30, 1593–1598, 1973) but applying them in a novel context of the discrete spectrum on a rotating sphere, the "minus 2" energy spectrum for wavenumbers much greater than a characteristic wavenumber of the baroclinic forcing has been obtained if the forcing is taken in the simplest and most fundamental form. Some observation-based atmospheric kinetic energy spectra, with their slopes lying between "minus 2" and "minus 3" laws, are discussed from the perspective of the deduced "minus 2" energy spectrum.