Rotating radiative-convective equilibria at low resolution in large domains

Isaac Held
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory/NOAA

Motivated by 1) the need to understand the tropical meteorology simulated in the current generation of climate models used for global change studies, and 2) the desire to probe some of the constraints on tropical storm statistics in simple geometries, we choose to study radiative-convective equilibria in a rotating doubly-periodic geometry, in a large
(>10,000km) domain at the low resolutions typical of global climate models. In these models we simply lift the "column physics" parameterizations from a global model and place them in this simpler horizontally homogeneous and isotropic geometry, with fixed ocean temperatures. The domain is always filled with vortices which rarely dissipate and never merge.
The number of storms decreases with increasing ocean temperatures, while the average intensity increases. The number of storms also decreases with decreasing rotation rate. At the low rotation rate corresponding to 5 degrees latitude, the domain is dominated by remarkably large, but not particularly intense, storms.

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