off against diffusion of potential vorticity. The result thing" and faltered because of the discontinuous na- is a model of many boundary layers: western bound- ture of the actual solutions. The beauty of modern ob- ary currents, upwelling layers, and the thermocline it- servations of the ocean is that they resolve structures self. This would be a fine place to point out the idea, at the scale of energy containing eddies and fronts, and championed by M. J. Lighthill, of steady circulations subduction, and they help to guide theory in many ways. as "arrested" waves. Topographic "f/depth" effects are Chapter 4, "Vorticity and Turbulence," gives a nice introduced and the "jebar" effect, a name that tends to sequence of vorticity and potential vorticity. We teach obscure the simple idea of vortex stretching by flow our students the beautiful theory of vortex stretching over a sloping bottom. and its relation to mechanical energy dissipation (of- A key idea of modern atmospheric sciences is the ten just the volume integral of viscosity times Ivortic- "invertibility" of potential vorticity to obtain velocity ityl squared), yet I feel a little impatient. Despite fast and perturbation mass fields. The fly in the ointment computers, there are few clear simulations or obser- seems to be that zero-PV flow is still important (e.g., vations showing the rate of vortex stretching in vari- Kelvin waves are invisible if one is wearing PV ous kinds of turbulence and in comparison with the glasses). Formally, invertibility depends on complete stretching and mixing of passive scalar fields. The boundary conditions, and that is where irrotational basic Kolmogorov model of a cascade is followed by modes are forced. a discussion of the effect of spatial intermittency. Two- The book lacks discussion of numerical models and dimensional turbulence is introduced, again emphasiz- observations that provide context for the theory, yet ing fundamentals rather than attempts at closure. Salmon thus avoids interrupting the very effective flow Chapter 5, "Statistical Fluid Dynamics," is a brief of ideas. This chapter might be augmented in teach- introduction to the equilibrium physics of an inviscid, ing, with such observations, models, and more about truncated spectrum, and to closure theory for dissipa- modern theories of thermocline ventilation and PV- tive flows. Despite the controversy over applicability based dynamics. These bring up the multifaceted struc- of equilibrium ideas, it certainly is good to present ture of the ocean circulation: the shadow zones, them in a pedagogic context. The appeal is made that homogenized gyres, and subduction pathways that real fluids are seeking inviscid equilibrium, though spontaneously build an interior structure. Early ther- they can never reach it. This seems more convincing mocline theory attempted to be a "theory of every- in three dimensions than two, owing to the greatly dif- Florid a Science Source Oxfor d University Press P.O . Box 92 7 19 8 Madiso n Avenue Lake Alfred , FL 33850-092 7 Ne w York, N Y 10016 Telephone : 941-299-6509 Telephone : 212-726-6000 Kluwe r Academi c Publishers Springe r Verlag 10 1 Philip Dr. 17 5 Fifth Avenue Norwell , M A 02061 Ne w York, N Y 10010 Telephone : 617-871-6600 Telephone : 212-460-1500 13 57 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jun 1, 2000
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