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Atmospheric Turbulencea molecular dynamics perspective$
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Adrian F. Tuck

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199236534

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199236534.001.0001

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Summary, Quo Vadimus? and Quotations

Summary, Quo Vadimus? and Quotations

8 Summary, Quo Vadimus? and Quotations
Atmospheric Turbulence

Adrian F. Tuck

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, we offer a summary of the book’s results and conclusions, ask what future developments might be contemplated, both theoretical and experimental, and provide some scientific quotations which seemed relevant. The quotations are collected here rather than dispersed through the text, because some of them apply at several junctures and one or two apply to the whole book. It is hoped that they will underline some important points in a memorable and even entertaining manner. Application of generalized scale invariance to large amounts of research quality in situ airborne observations of the free troposphere and lower stratosphere has shown that the atmosphere behaves as a random, non-Gaussian, Lévy stable process. The scaling exponents describing the resultant statistical multifractality are the conservation H1, the intermittency C1 and the departure from monofractality α, the Lévy exponent. They had average values of 0.55, 0.05, and 1.6 respectively as deduced from airborne time series of wind speed and temperature. Certain regimes, such as jet streams, however showed correlation within the mean; the value of H1(s) for horizontal wind speed s was positively correlated with the magnitude of the horizontal speed shear and the value of H1(T ) for temperature was positively correlated with the meridional (equator-to-pole) temperature gradient. The value of H1(s) in the vertical showed clear correlation with vertical measures of jet stream strength, such as depth and maximum speed. The vertical scaling of temperature showed the paramount influence of gravity, having H1 close to unity, while horizontal wind speed and relative humidity were about 0.75. These results show that large scale ordered flow can be interpreted as emerging from less ordered smaller scale motions. At the same time, the smaller scale motions are never truly random in the atmosphere and the larger scale motions are never perfectly correlated, smooth flow. Ozone and water, while occasionally behaving as passive scalars, that is to say as tracers, more often showed the presence of sources and sinks: a numerical model-independent demonstration of the operation of photochemistry and precipitation respectively.

Keywords:   atmospheric temperature, causality, chemical reaction rates, cold bias, computer simulations, energy input, fluctuation-dissipation theorem, fractality, generalized scale invariance, long tails

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