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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2013, Article ID 981271, 11 pages
Research Article

The Sensitivity of Characteristics of Large Scale Baroclinic Unstable Waves in Southern Hemisphere to the Underlying Climate

Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, 700 Collins Street, Docklands, VIC 3008, Australia

Received 26 September 2013; Accepted 18 November 2013

Academic Editor: Luis Gimeno

Copyright © 2013 Sergei Soldatenko and Chris Tingwell. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The sensitivity of the main characteristics of baroclinically unstable waves with respect to fundamental parameters of the atmosphere (the static stability parameter and vertical shear of a zonal wind ) is theoretically explored. Two types of waves are considered: synoptic scale waves and planetary scale (ultralong) waves based on an Eady-type model and model with vertically averaged primitive equations. Sensitivity functions are obtained that estimate the impact of variations in and on the growth rate and other characteristics of unstable waves and demonstrate that waves belonging to the short-wave part of the spectrum of unstable waves are more sensitive to changes in the static stability parameter than waves belonging to the long-wave part of the spectrum. The obtained theoretical results show that the increase of the static stability and decrease of the meridional temperature gradient in midlatitude baroclinic zones in some areas of the southern hemisphere lead to a slowing of the growth rate of baroclinic unstable waves and an increasing wavelength of baroclinic unstable wave maximum growth rate, that is, a spectrum shift of unstable waves towards longer wavelengths. These might affect the favorable conditions for the development of baroclinic instability and, therefore, the intensity of cyclone generation activity.