Three-dimensional slow Rossby waves in rotating spherical density-stratified convection

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We develop a theory of three-dimensional slow Rossby waves in rotating spherical density stratified convection. The Rossby waves, with frequencies which are much smaller than the rotating frequency, are excited by a nonaxisymmetric instability from the equilibrium based on the developed convection. These waves interact with the inertial waves and the density stratified convection. The density stratification is taken into account using the anelastic approximation for very low-Mach-number flows. We study long-term planetary Rossby waves with periods which are larger than two years. We suggest that these waves are related to the southern oscillation and El Niño. The El Niño is an irregularly periodical variation in winds and sea surface temperatures over the tropical Pacific ocean, while the southern oscillation is an oscillation in surface air pressure between the tropical eastern and the western Pacific ocean. The strength of the southern oscillation is characterized by the southern oscillation index (SOI). The developed theory is applied for the interpretation of the observed periods of the SOI. This study demonstrates a good agreement between the theoretical predictions and the observations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number033106
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
StatePublished - 14 Sep 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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