U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Understanding the Physics Behind Rising Atmospheric Air Parcels
Published: November 23, 2015
Posted: May 19, 2016

Well known is that wide parcels of air accelerate more slowly than narrow parcels, and the effect is stronger when the parcel is near the surface. These effects are simulated crudely in climate models, which have coarse resolutions and thus cannot simulate narrow parcels and their vigorous vertical motion; such models are operating in the hydrostatic limit. Although this effect is well-known, it has not been well-quantified nor understood.

A recent study supported by the Department of Energy derives theoretical equations to explain the physics behind these phenomena, by finding mathematical formulae for the acceleration of buoyant parcels as functions of both parcel aspect ratio (width/height) and surface proximity. These formulae may be especially useful both in gaining physical insight into atmospheric convective systems, and in mapping out the gray zone of numerical modeling, as limitations of hydrostatic effect are reached and non-hydrostatic effects become important.

Reference: Jeevanjee, N., and D. M. Romps. 2015. “Effective Buoyancy at the Surface and Aloft,” Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 142(695), 811-20. DOI: 10.1002/qj.2683. (Reference link)

Contact: Dorothy Koch, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0105
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)