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High Resolution Polar Night Vortex Simulation

The breakdown of the Stratospheric Polar Night Vortex is an atmospheric event that occurs once or twice each year in the polar wintertime stratosphere. As the polar vortex is formed, sharp gradients of potential vorticity at the vortex edge isolate polar air from the air at lower latitudes, producing conditions favorable for wintertime polar ozone depletion. Rossby waves propagating upward from the troposphere along the edge of the Polar Vortex grows exponentially in amplitude, eventually tearing the vortex apart.

This is the second Polar Vortex simulation produced with SEAM. This new simulation was computed at a significantly higher resolution than the previous (two to four times the horizontal and vertical resolution), indicating that the numerical solution of the dynamics has converged in regard to its essential features.

Related Links
 


  Fournier and Taylor (2003), The polar vortex as an initial-value test case for the spherical primitive equations. (postscript file )

  Lower Resolution Simulation

 
 

 

 
The animation depicts the flow of the Polar Vortex by visualizing Potential Vorticity (a variable that acts as a tracer) over 16-day simulation generated by the Spectral Element Atmospheric Model (SEAM).

 

Model  
Model Name:
SEAM
Data  
Supercomputer:
IBM SP RS/6000
CPU Time:
~2.7 days
Domain  
Time Evolution:
20 days
Horizontal Resolution:
36 km (~T363)
Vertical Resolution:
200 levels
Grid Points:
88780800
Research Project
Scientists:
Aimé Fournier
Visualization:
John Clyne, NCAR, SCD
Software:
vtk
Date Created:
2003-01-27
Date Catalogued:
2003-01-27
Rights:
© 2003, UCAR, All rights reserved.