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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Generalization of Semigeostrophic Theory to the β-Plane

  • Author(s): Magnusdottir, Gundrum
  • Schubert, Wayne H.
  • et al.

We develop here the isentropic–geostrophic coordinate version of semigeostrophic theory on a midlatitude β-plane. This approach results in a simple mathematical form in which the horizontal ageostrophic velocities are implicit and the entire dynamics reduces to a predictive equation for the potential pseudodensity and an invertibility relation. Linearized versions of the theory lead to a generalized Charney–Stern theorem for combined barotropic–baroclinic instability and to Rossby wave solutions with a meridional structure different from that in quasi-geostrophic theory.

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