Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 12:00pm
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HUCE Seminar Room 440, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge

Harvard Climate Seminar

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences present "Atmospheric Superrotation at Earth's Surface" with Rodrigo Caballero, Professor and Head, Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Abstract: Atmospheric superrotation refers to a state with prograde (i.e. westerly) zonal-mean winds at or near the equator. It is an observed feature of several planetary atmospheres, but does not occur on present-day Earth. The question of whether Earth could superrotate under altered climates has attracted attention in recent years and remains unresolved. Though an intriguing problem in geophysical fluid dynamics, superrotation is arguably of limited consequence for the broader climate system unless it is felt at the surface, where it can alter the ocean circulation and surface temperature patterns. In this talk, I will give a general discussion of superrotation and the mechanisms sustaining it. I will also explore whether superrotation can occur at the surface. I show that surface superrotation can occur both in theory and in practice across a hierarchy of Earth-like atmospheric models, albeit in a rather extreme parameter regime.


Contact Name: 

Sabinna Cappo

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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