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Spatial and temporal variations of global frictional torque during the period 1948–2011

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Spatial and temporal variations of global frictional torque during the period 1948–2011

 

Authors:   He Gong,  Mei Huang,  Lin Zhu, Shengli Guo and Yaping Shao   4th March, 2016

 

First Published:   4th March, 2016

 

Abstract:

Frictional torque is an important mean for momentum exchange between the atmosphere and earth, and significantly influences the variation in atmospheric angular momentum. Using NCEP-NCAR reanalysis data for the period 1948–2011, we examined the spatial and temporal patterns of frictional torque. It was found that the globally integrated frictional torque turned from positive to negative in 1972, suggesting that angular momentum was transferred from the earth to the atmosphere before 1972, but from the atmosphere to the earth thereafter. The global frictional torque steadily declined from 1948 to 1994, but has been increasing since 1995. It was also found that the global frictional torque is mainly determined by the wind systems in the mid and low latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere (SH), where large changes in frictional torque occurred during the study period. Westerly wind increased continuously in the midlatitudes after 1948, while easterly wind decreased in the tropics of the SH after the 1980s.

 

Link to full paper:  The "Springer Link" access is behind a paywall but I found this link via the Chinese Meteorological Society:  

http://html.rhhz.net/qxxb_en/html/20160110.htm

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