TY - JOUR

T1 - Edge-wave phase shifts versus normal-mode phase tilts in an Eady problem with a sloping boundary

AU - Mak, J.

AU - Harnik, N.

AU - Heifetz, E.

AU - Kumar, G.

AU - Ong, E. Q.Y.

N1 - Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.

PY - 2024/8

Y1 - 2024/8

N2 - One mechanistic interpretation of baroclinic instability is that of mutual constructive interference of Rossby edge waves. The suppression of baroclinic instability over slopes has been widely established, where previous research argues that a sloping boundary modifies the properties of these Rossby edge waves, but does not provide a mechanistic explanation for the suppression that is valid over all parameter space. In the context of an Eady problem modified by the presence of a sloping boundary, we provide a mechanistic rationalization for baroclinic instability in the presence of slopes that is valid over all parameter space, via an equivalent formulation explicitly in terms of Rossby edge waves. We also highlight the differences between edge-wave phase shifts and normal-mode phase tilts, showing that the edge-wave phase shifts should be the ones that are mechanistically relevant, and normal-mode phase tilt is a potentially misleading quantity to use. Further, we present evidence that the edge-wave phase shifts but not normal-mode phase tilts are well correlated with geometric quantities diagnosed from an analysis framework based on eddy variance ellipses. The result is noteworthy in that the geometric framework makes no explicit reference to the edge-wave structures in its construction, and the correlation suggests the geometric framework can be used in problems where edge-wave structures are not so well defined or readily available. Some implications for parametrization of baroclinic instability and relevant eddy-mean feedbacks are discussed. For completeness, we also provide an explicit demonstration that the linear instability problem of the present modified Eady problem is parity-time symmetric, and speculate about some suggestive links between parity-time symmetry, shear instability, and the edge-wave interaction mechanism.

AB - One mechanistic interpretation of baroclinic instability is that of mutual constructive interference of Rossby edge waves. The suppression of baroclinic instability over slopes has been widely established, where previous research argues that a sloping boundary modifies the properties of these Rossby edge waves, but does not provide a mechanistic explanation for the suppression that is valid over all parameter space. In the context of an Eady problem modified by the presence of a sloping boundary, we provide a mechanistic rationalization for baroclinic instability in the presence of slopes that is valid over all parameter space, via an equivalent formulation explicitly in terms of Rossby edge waves. We also highlight the differences between edge-wave phase shifts and normal-mode phase tilts, showing that the edge-wave phase shifts should be the ones that are mechanistically relevant, and normal-mode phase tilt is a potentially misleading quantity to use. Further, we present evidence that the edge-wave phase shifts but not normal-mode phase tilts are well correlated with geometric quantities diagnosed from an analysis framework based on eddy variance ellipses. The result is noteworthy in that the geometric framework makes no explicit reference to the edge-wave structures in its construction, and the correlation suggests the geometric framework can be used in problems where edge-wave structures are not so well defined or readily available. Some implications for parametrization of baroclinic instability and relevant eddy-mean feedbacks are discussed. For completeness, we also provide an explicit demonstration that the linear instability problem of the present modified Eady problem is parity-time symmetric, and speculate about some suggestive links between parity-time symmetry, shear instability, and the edge-wave interaction mechanism.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85202772387&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevFluids.9.083905

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevFluids.9.083905

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AN - SCOPUS:85202772387

SN - 2469-990X

VL - 9

JO - Physical Review Fluids

JF - Physical Review Fluids

IS - 8

M1 - 083905

ER -