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Radiative Instability of a Cloudy Planetary Atmosphere

Gierasch, Peter J. and Ingersoll, Andrew P. and Williams, R. Terry (1973) Radiative Instability of a Cloudy Planetary Atmosphere. Icarus, 19 (4). pp. 473-481. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1016/0019-1035(73)90074-2.

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A cloudy planetary atmosphere at rest is shown to be unstable to disturbances of large horizontal scale. The energy source for the instability is the change in radiative heat flux associated with vertical displacement near the emitting level. A simple model is described in which Q∞ δz, where Q is the net heating rate in the cloud and δz is vertical displacement. The constant of proportionality may be either positive or negative. Disturbances may take the form of either quasi-steady geostrophic motions or amplified inertia-gravity waves. The model is applied to Jupiter's zonal winds and to motions near the Venus cloud tops, and provides a possible explanation for many important features of these two flows.

Item Type:Article
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Ingersoll, Andrew P.0000-0002-2035-9198
Additional Information:© 1973 by Academic Press, Inc. Received February 5, 1973; revised March 29, 1973. This research was initiated while the authors were participating in the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 1971 Summer Study Program in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. This program is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant 20-1494.01. Further support was provided by the National Science Foundation under Grant GA-37012 to Cornell University, by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant NGL 05-002-003 to the California Institute of Technology, and by the Navy Environmental Prediction Research Facility at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
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Naval Postgraduate School FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121205-113352776
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Official Citation:Peter J. Gierasch, Andrew P. Ingersoll, R. Terry Williams, Radiative instability of a cloudy planetary atmosphere, Icarus, Volume 19, Issue 4, August 1973, Pages 473-481, ISSN 0019-1035, 10.1016/0019-1035(73)90074-2. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35825
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:05 Dec 2012 20:55
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:18

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