Schedule Apr 02, 2010
Baroclinic Instability on Terrestrial Extrasolar Planets
James Cho (Univ. London)

James Y-K. Cho and Inna Polichtchouk
Astronomy Unit, School of Mathematical Sciences
Queen Mary University of London

Baroclinic instability is an important mechanism that can lead to large- and meso-scale motions in planetary atmospheres. For example, it drives the mid-latitude weather systems on the Earth. We investigate the presence and strength of this instability on telluric extrasolar planets using a general circulation model and the primitive equations. The focus is on the identification of the gravest mode and its growth rate, as well as the lifecycle and mixing, associated with instability under several idealized conditions.

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