Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sensitivity and Variability in Hot-Jupiter Atmospheric Flow Simulations

Sensitivity and Variability Redux in Hot-Jupiter Flow Simulations


Cho et al


We revisit the issue of sensitivity to initial flow and intrinsic variability in hot-Jupiter atmospheric flow simulations, originally investigated by Cho et al. (2008) and Thrastarson & Cho (2010). The flow in the lower region (~1 to 20 MPa) `dragged' to immobility and uniform temperature on a very short timescale, as in Liu & Showman (2013), leads to effectively a complete cessation of variability as well as sensitivity in three-dimensional (3D) simulations with traditional primitive equations. Such momentum (Rayleigh) and thermal (Newtonian) drags are, however, ad hoc for 3D giant planet simulations. For 3D hot-Jupiter simulations, which typically already employ strong Newtonian drag in the upper region, sensitivity is not quenched if only the Newtonian drag is applied in the lower region, without the strong Rayleigh drag: in general, both sensitivity and variability persist if the two drags are not applied concurrently in the lower region. However, even when the drags are applied concurrently, vertically-propagating planetary waves give rise to significant variability in the ~0.05 to 0.5 MPa region, if the vertical resolution of the lower region is increased (e.g. here with 1000 layers for the entire domain). New observations on the effects of the physical setup and model convergence in `deep' atmosphere simulations are also presented.

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