• R Krishnan

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Sensitivity of the tropical nonlinear stationary Kelvin and Rossby waves to the vertical structure of heating

      R Krishnan S V Kasture

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      Idealized experiments using linear (LM) and nonlinear (NM) multilevel global spectral models have been carried out to investigate and understand the impact of nonlinearities on the stationary wave response in the tropical atmosphere and its sensitivity to the vertical profile of heating. It is found that nonlinearities exert a dominant influence on the low-latitude stationary Kelvin and Rossby waves particularly in the vicinity of the forcing region. Our study shows that nonlinear effects on the upper tropospheric response produce prominent eastward displacement of the anticyclonic vorticity and horizontal shifts of the maximum equilibrium divergence relative to the prescribed heating. These changes due to nonlinear terms are found to be quite sensitive to the vertical structure of diabatic heating. The strongest nonlinear effects are found to occur when the vertical level under consideration is strongly forced from below. Detailed vorticity budget calculations indicate that stronger nonlinear contributions from stretching and horizontal advection of relative vorticity favour the generation of upper tropospheric anticyclonic circulation and its eastward displacement. Larger vertical advection and twisting terms appear to oppose the generation of upper tropospheric anticyclonic vorticity. It is found that the nonlinear terms which affect the vorticity generation in the upper levels are crucially controlled by the vertical profile of heating.

      The mid-tropospheric response due to deep convective heating in the NM is characterized by anomalous equatorial westerlies in the low-latitude Rossby regime and exhibits prominent ageostrophic motions. Such nonlinear effects appear probably because of a vertical shift of the low level circulation anomalies in the NM. In the case of shallow convective heating the occurrence of anomalous zonal flows and ageostrophic motions in the low latitude regions of the NM takes place near the level of the maximum heating. Our study shows that large heating amplitudes and small vertical gradient of heating at a given vertical level together favour generation of anomalous zonal flows and ageostrophic motions in the near equatorial regions. These anomalous basic flows in the low-latitudes have implications on the propagation of transients from the tropics to midlatitudes. Non-linear effects on the lower tropospheric stationary waves are prominently seen in the case of strong low level heating which produces a large strengthening of the lower tropospheric cyclonic anomalies that exhibit distinct eastward shifts in the NM relative to the LM.

    • Dynamics of upper tropospheric stationary wave anomalies induced by ENSO during the northern summer: A GCM study

      R Krishnan C Venkatesan R N Keshavamurty

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      Ensemble seasonal integrations are carried out with the COLA GCM, with a view to understand the dynamical connection between warm SST anomalies in the equatorial central-eastern Pacific Ocean and the upper level stationary wave anomalies seen during drought years over the Indian summer monsoon region. In addition, experiments with and without orography are performed in order to examine the role of the Himalayas in modulating the El Niño induced stationary wave anomalies over the summer monsoon region.

      The GCM simulations show a statistically significant weakening of the summer monsoon activity over India in response to the SST forcing in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. This weakening of the summer monsoon appears to be largely related to modifications of the local Hadley and Walker cells over the summer monsoon region. In addition, it is seen that the anomalous ENSO divergent forcing over the tropical Pacific Ocean can act as a potential source for Rossby wave dispersion. Here one finds the possibility of meridionally propagating Rossby waves, which emanate from the ENSO forcing region, to interact with the subtropical westerlies and generate anomalous highs and lows in the subtropics and extratropics. The quasi-stationary perturbations seen over west Asia, Pakistan and northwest India during drought years, seem to be generated by the above mechanism. An alternate mechanism that could be important for the persistence of the quasi-stationary perturbations seems to be based on the dynamic excitation of middle latitude normal modes which can extract energy from the zonally varying unstable basic flow.

      It is seen from the GCM simulations, that the Himalayan orography plays a crucial role in anchoring the El Niño induced extratropical westerly troughs far to the west in the high latitude belt. In the absence of orography it is seen that the ENSO induced extra-tropical cyclonic anomalies tend to intrude southward into the monsoon region thereby destroying the regional scale circulations completely. Another effect due to the Himalayas is to generate lee waves on the eastern side of the topographic barrier which encircle the globe in the subtropics and midlatitudes.

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