Atmosphere Ocean Science Friday Seminar

Moist Energy in Quasi-Geostrophic Turbulence

Speaker: Marguerite Brown, CAOS

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1314

Date: Friday, October 7, 2022, 4 p.m.


A major unsolved problem in atmospheric dynamics is the question of how to include moisture in the energy cycle. Intuitively, we know that the condensation of water vapor releases latent heat and generates additional Available Potential Energy (APE), but the formulation and interpretation of a Moist Energy (ME) is complicated by non-linear interactions between moisture and temperature. In this talk, I will use a 2-layer Moist QG system to derive an energy budget based on the idea that the potential energy can be split into dual reservoirs: one the classic dry APE and the other an ME constructed from the lifting condensation level. I will then explore features of this energy cycle, including energy generation, turbulent cascades, and dissipation. If I have time (unlikely), I might talk a bit about connections between the persistence of moisture in the atmosphere and the eddy-containing scale.