Some Issues in Geophysical Turbulence and the Need for Accurate High Reynolds Number Measurements
We review here some issues related to geophysical flows, which have been investigated numerically, but for which new high-precision experiments would play a vital role in discriminating between competing theories and ideas. The selection of these topics is very much determined by the author’s own research, and those of several members of the geophysical turbulence group at NCAR. They are (1) the collective self-organization of large-scale convective patterns in the atmospheric mesoscale, (2) the dispersal of particles released in the fluid under conditions of stable stratification, and (3) the degree to which the transfer of energy to small scale is local in wave-number space. In our discussion, we bring into focus information gleaned from both simple scaling ideas (and sometimes the underlying statistical theory), and numerical simulations, at, perforce, small Rλ.
KeywordsRayleigh Number Planetary Boundary Layer Isotropic Turbulence Inertial Range Stable Stratification
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