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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2019-40
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2019-40
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 30 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 30 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics (NPG).

On fluctuating momentum-exchange in idealised models of air-sea interaction

Achim Wirth Achim Wirth
  • Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, LEGI, 38000 Grenoble, France

Abstract. The dynamics of three local models, for momentum transfer at the air-sea interface, is compared. The models differ by whether or not the ocean velocity is included in the shear calculation applied to the ocean and the atmosphere. All three cases are employed in climate or ocean simulations. Analytic calculations for the models with deterministic and random forcing (white and coloured) are presented. The short term behaviour is similar in all models, which only small quantitative differences, while the long-term behaviour differs qualitatively between the models. The fluctuation-dissipation-relation, which connects the fast atmospheric motion to the slow oceanic dynamics, is established for all models with random forcing. The fluctuation-dissipation-theorem, which compares the response to an external forcing to internal fluctuations is established for a white-noise forcing and a coloured forcing when the phase space is augmented by the forcing variable. Using results from numerical integrations of stochastic differential equations it is shown that the fluctuation-theorem, which compares the probability of positive to negative fluxes of the same magnitude, averaged over time-intervals of varying length, holds for the energy gained by the ocean from the atmosphere.

Achim Wirth
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Achim Wirth
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Latest update: 19 Aug 2019
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Short summary
The conspicuous feature of the atmosphere ocean system is the strong difference in mass of the two media. In this respect there is a strong analogy to Brownian motion, with light and fast molecules colliding with heavy and slow Brownian particles. I apply the tools of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics to study Brownian motion to air-sea interaction.
The conspicuous feature of the atmosphere ocean system is the strong difference in mass of the...
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