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Byrne, RN, Somerville RCK, Subasilar B.  1996.  Broken-cloud enhancement of solar radiation absorption. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 53:878-886.   10.1175/1520-0469(1996)053<0878:bceosr>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

Observations cited by Ramanathan et al. and Cess et al. indicate systematic errors in the solar radiation parameterizations of the current atmospheric general circulation models. Cloudy scenes have an observational excess (or calculational deficit) of atmospheric absorption. Pilewskie and Valero have also reported anomalously large absorption. A simple model is presented here to show how fields of broken clouds cause average photon pathlengths to be greater than those predicted by homogeneous radiative transfer calculations of cloud-atmosphere ensemble with similar albedos, especially under and within the cloud layer. This one-sided bias is a contribution to the anomalous absorption. The model is illustrated quantitatively with a numerical stochastic radiative transfer calculation. More than one-half the anomaly is explained for the parameters used in the numerical example.

Somerville, RCJ.  1971.  Bénard convection in a rotating fluid. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. 2:247-262.: Taylor & Francis   10.1080/03091927108236061   AbstractWebsite

Abstract The steady nonlinear regime of Bénard convection in a uniformly rotating fluid is treated using a two-dimensional primitive-equation numerical model with rigid boundaries. Quantitative comparisons with laboratory heat transport data for water are made in the parameter ranges for which the experimental flows are approximately two-dimensional and steady. When an experimentally realistic spatial periodicity is imposed upon the numerical solution, the model simulates the experimental determinations of Nusselt number fairly accurately. In particular, it predicts the observed non-monotonic dependence on Taylor number. When spatial periodicities corresponding to those of the linear stability problem are specified, however, the accuracy of the simulation is less and the Taylor number dependence is monotonic.The steady nonlinear regime of Bénard convection in a uniformly rotating fluid is treated using a two-dimensional primitive-equation numerical model with rigid boundaries. Quantitative comparisons with laboratory heat transport data for water are made in the parameter ranges for which the experimental flows are approximately two-dimensional and steady. When an experimentally realistic spatial periodicity is imposed upon the numerical solution, the model simulates the experimental determinations of Nusselt number fairly accurately. In particular, it predicts the observed non-monotonic dependence on Taylor number. When spatial periodicities corresponding to those of the linear stability problem are specified, however, the accuracy of the simulation is less and the Taylor number dependence is monotonic.

Gall, R, Blakeslee R, Somerville RCJ.  1979.  Baroclinic Instability and the Selection of the Zonal Scale of the Transient Eddies of Middle Latitudes. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. 36:767-784.   10.1175/1520-0469(1979)036<0767:biatso>2.0.co;2   AbstractWebsite

Because the linear growth rates of baroclinic waves on realistic zonal flows are largest at relatively high zonal wavenumbers (e.g., 15), the observed peaks in the transient kinetic energy spectrum cannot be explained simply by peaks in the linear growth-rate spectrum. When the growth-rate spectrum is fairly flat, as suggested by recent studies, then as the waves evolve, the decrease of the instability of the zonal flow and the increase of dissipation in the developing waves become important in determining which wavelength will dominate after the waves are fully developed. In particular, the stabilization of the zonal flow because of northward and upward eddy transport (which is primarily confined to the lower troposphere in all baroclinic waves) causes the instability of the short baroclinic waves (wavenumber > 10) to decrease more rapidly than that of the intermediate-scale waves (wavenumber <10). In addition, as it is usually modeled, dissipation increases with time more rapidly in the short waves. Therefore, the growth of the short waves is terminated by these two processes before the growth of the intermediate-scale waves, which can thus achieve greater equilibrium amplitudes.We have obtained these results in a numerical experiment with a simplified general circulation model, in which waves of all wavelengths are allowed to develop simultaneously from small random perturbations on a flow that is initially zonally symmetric. The kinetic energy spectrum in this experiment does not display a −3 power law in the wavenumber band 10–20, even after the spectrum in this spectral region has been equilibrated for a simulated week or more. This result apparently supports the recent hypothesis of Andrews and Hoskins that atmospheric fronts rather than quasi-geostrophic turbulence are responsible for the observed −3 spectrum at wavenumbers > 10.