Zurita Gotor, Pablo

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First Name
Last Name
Zurita Gotor
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Faculty / Institute
Ciencias Físicas
Física de la Tierra y Astrofísica
Física de la Tierra
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Now showing 1 - 10 of 17
  • Publication
    Kinetic energy-conserving hyperdiffusion can improve low resolution atmospheric models
    (American Geophysical Union, 2015-09) Zurita Gotor, Pablo; Held, Isaac M.; Jansen, Malte F.
    Motivated by findings that energetically consistent subgrid dissipation schemes can improve eddy-permitting ocean simulations, this work investigates the impact of the subgrid dissipation scheme on low-resolution atmospheric dynamical cores. A kinetic energy-conserving dissipation scheme is implemented in the model adding a negative viscosity term that injects back into the eddy field the kinetic energy dissipated by horizontal hyperdiffusion. The kinetic energy-conserving scheme enhances numerical convergence when horizontal resolution is changed with fixed vertical resolution and gives superior low-resolution results. Improvements are most obvious for eddy kinetic energy but also found in other fields, particularly with strong or little scale-selective horizontal hyperdiffusion. One advantage of the kinetic energy-conserving scheme is that it reduces the sensitivity of the model to changes in the subgrid dissipation rate, providing more robust results.
  • Publication
    The interannual variability of the tropical divergence tilt and its connection with the extratropical circulation
    (American Meteorological Society, 2021-01) Zurita Gotor, Pablo
    Previous theoretical work has suggested that the strength of the divergent eddy momentum flux in the deep tropics, due to correlations between rotational zonal velocities and divergent meridional velocities, increases with the meridional tilt of the large-scale divergence field. To test that idea, this work investigates the interannual variability of the divergent eddy momentum flux in reanalysis data. Consistent with the theory, it is found that the eddy momentum flux variability is driven by two main parameters: the amplitude of the tropical stationary wave and the tilt of the divergence field. Together, these two parameters account for 80% (90%) of the interannual eddy momentum flux variance during boreal (austral) winter. The interannual variability of these parameters is governed by the internal atmospheric dynamics. During boreal winter, interannual changes in MJO variability explain nearly half of the interannual variance in the stationary wave amplitude, depending on whether on average MJO anomalies interfere constructively or destructively with the stationary wave. The interannual variability of the divergence phase tilt is modulated by tropical–extratropical interactions in the Pacific. The tilt increases during the negative phase of the west Pacific Oscillation associated with a dipole of upper-level divergence (convergence) on the northern (southern) side of the Pacific jet exit region.
  • Publication
    Low-frequency suppression of Southern Hemisphere tropospheric eddy heat flux
    (Amer Geophysical Union, 2017-02-28) Zurita Gotor, Pablo
    This paper analyzes the variability of the zonal cospectrum of Southern Hemisphere tropospheric eddy heat flux in reanalysis data. It is shown that the reduced spectral power of low-frequency eddy heat flux variability largely arises from the anticorrelation in the eddy heat transports by different zonal wave numbers. Although the most plausible mechanism for this relation invokes baroclinicity as a mediating agent, this hypothesis does not seem to be supported by the observed variability of baroclinicity. Low-frequency baroclinicity variability is primarily driven by the mean meridional circulation, with only a minor role for the eddy heat flux.
  • Publication
    Coupled interannual variability of the Hadley and Ferrel cells
    (American Meteorological Society., 2018-06-15) Zurita Gotor, Pablo; Álvarez Zapatero, Pablo
    This work investigates the covariability in the strength of the Hadley and Ferrel cells on interannual time scales using reanalysis data. A significant correlation is found in both hemispheres only during boreal winter. For other seasons, only the outermost (subtropical) part of the Hadley cell is correlated with changes in the extratropical eddy momentum fluxes, as the eddies are unable to penetrate into the deep tropics. During boreal winter, the northern Hadley cell variability is driven by extratropical planetary momentum fluxes, but the mean meridional circulation response is primarily found below the level of maximum climatological outflow. Instead, at upper levels, changes in the zonal wind dominate the response to the anomalous eddy forcing. During austral winter, the southern Hadley cell is shielded from the extratropical eddy fluxes and its variability displays some of the characteristics of the angular momentum-conserving solution.
  • Publication
    Model hierarchies for understanding atmospheric circulation
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-06) Maher, Penelope; Gerber, Edwin P.; Medeiros, Brian; Merlis, Timothy M.; Sherwood, Steven; Sheshadri, Aditi; Sobel, Adam H.; Vallis, Geoffrey K.; Voigt, Aiko; Zurita Gotor, Pablo
    In this review, we highlight the complementary relationship between simple and comprehensive models in addressing key scientific questions to describe Earth's atmospheric circulation. The systematic representation of models in steps, or hierarchies, connects our understanding from idealized systems to comprehensive models and ultimately the observed atmosphere. We define three interconnected principles that can be used to characterize the model hierarchies of the atmosphere. We explore the rich diversity within the governing equations in the dynamical hierarchy, the ability to isolate and understand atmospheric processes in the process hierarchy, and the importance of the physical domain and resolution in the hierarchy of scale. We center our discussion on the large-scale circulation of the atmosphere and its interaction with clouds and convection, focusing on areas where simple models have had a significant impact. Our confidence in climate model projections of the future is based on our efforts to ground the climate predictions in fundamental physical understanding. This understanding is, in part, possible due to the hierarchies of idealized models that afford the simplicity required for understanding complex systems.
  • Publication
    The role of the divergent circulation for large-scale eddy momentum transport in the tropics. Part I: observations
    (American Meteorological Society, 2019-04) Zurita Gotor, Pablo
    This work investigates the role played by the divergent circulation for meridional eddy momentum transport in the tropical atmosphere. It is shown that the eddy momentum flux in the deep tropics arises primarily from correlations between the divergent eddy meridional velocity and the rotational eddy zonal velocity. Consistent with previous studies, this transport is dominated by the stationary wave component, associated with correlations between the zonal structure of the Hadley cell (zonal anomalies in the meridional overturning) and the climatological-mean Rossby gyres. This eddy momentum flux decomposition implies a different mechanism of eddy momentum convergence from the extratropics, associated with upper-level mass convergence (divergence) over sectors with anomalous westerlies (easterlies). By itself, this meridional transport would only increase (decrease) isentropic thickness over regions with anomalous westerly (easterly) zonal flow. The actual momentum mixing is due to vertical (cross isentropic) advection, pointing to the key role of diabatic processes for eddy–mean flow interaction in the tropics..
  • Publication
    Intraseasonal Variability of the Zonal-Mean Extratropical Tropopause: The Role of Changes in Polar Vortex Strength and Upper-Troposphere Wave Breaking.
    (American Meteorological Society, 2016-03) Barroso Pellico, Jesús Ángel; Zurita Gotor, Pablo
    A principal component analysis of the Northern Hemisphere extratropical zonal-mean tropopause variability at intraseasonal time scales is presented in this work. Wavy deformations of the tropopause dominate this variability and explain significantly more variance than changes in the extratropical-mean tropopause height. The first mode is well correlated with the zonal index. Analysis of the dynamical evolution of the modes shows that tropopause deformations are caused by anomalous wave breaking at the tropopause level occurring in a preexisting anomalous stratospheric polar vortex. Specifically, an intense (weak) polar vortex is associated with a rising (sinking) of the polar tropopause, while anomalous wave breaking in the midlatitudes produces a dipolar tropopause change that is consistent with the anomalous meridional eddy flux of quasigeostrophic potential vorticity. These two forcings operate on different time scales and can be separated when the data are filtered at high or low frequency. Baroclinic equilibration seems to play a small role in the extratropical internal tropopause variability and the impact of tropospheric and stratospheric dynamics is quantitatively similar. A similar analysis for the Southern Hemisphere extratropics displays the same qualitative behavior.
  • Publication
    The sensitivity of superrotation to the satitude of baroclinic forcing in a terrestrial dry dynamical core
    (American Meteorological Society, 2022-05) Zurita Gotor, Pablo; Anaya Benlliure, Álvaro; Held, Isaac M.
    Previous studies have shown that Kelvin-Rossby instability is a viable mechanism for producing equatorial superrotation in small and/or slowly rotating planets. It is shown in this paper that this mechanism can also produce superrotation with terrestrial parameters when the baroclinic forcing moves to low latitudes, explaining previous results by Williams. The transition between superrotating and subrotating flow occurs abruptly as the baroclinic forcing moves poleward. Although Kelvin-Rossby instability weakens when the baroclinic zone moves away from the equator, the key factor explaining the abrupt transition is the change in the baroclinic eddies. When differential heating is contained within the tropics, baroclinic eddies do not decelerate the subtropical jet and the upper-tropospheric flow approximately conserves angular momentum, providing conditions favorable for Kelvin-Rossby instability. In contrast, when baroclinic eddies are generated in the extratropics, they decelerate the subtropical jet and prevent the Kelvin-Rossby coupling. Due to this sensitivity to baroclinic eddies the system exhibits hysteresis: near the transition parameter, extratropical eddies can prevent superrotation when they are initially present.
  • Publication
    Westward-propagating Rossby modes in idealized GCMs
    (American Meteorological Society, 2021-05-01) Zurita Gotor, Pablo; Held, Isaac M.
    This work investigates the characteristics of westward-propagating Rossby modes in idealized global general circulation models. Using a nonlinear smoothing algorithm to estimate the background spectrum and an objective method to extract the spectral peaks, the four leading meridional modes can be identified for each of the first three zonal wavenumbers, with frequencies close to the predictions from the Hough modes obtained by linearizing about a state of rest. Variations in peak amplitude for different modes, both within a simulation and across simulations, may be understood under the assumption that the forcing of the modes scales with the background spectrum. Surface friction affects the amplitude and width of the peaks but both remain finite as friction goes to zero, which implies that some other mechanism, arguably nonlinear, must also contribute to the damping of the modes. Although spectral peaks are also observed for the precipitation field with idealized moist physics, there is no evidence of mode enhancement by the convective heating. Subject to the same friction, the amplitude of the peaks are very similar in the dry and moist models when both are normalized by the background spectra.
  • Publication
    Abrupt transitions in the NAO control of explosive North 2 Atlantic cyclone development
    (Springer, 2014-12-27) Gómara Cardalliaguet, Iñigo; Rodríguez de Fonseca, María Belén; Zurita Gotor, Pablo; Ulbrich, Sven; G. Pinto, Joaquim
    Explosive cyclones are intense extra-tropical low pressure systems featuring large deepening rates. In the Euro-Atlantic sector, they are a major source of life-threatening weather impacts due to their associated strong wind gusts, heavy precipitation and storm surges. The wintertime variability of the North Atlantic cyclonic activity is primarily modulated by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). In this study, we investigate the interannual and multi-decadal variability of explosive North Atlantic cyclones using track density data from two reanalysis datasets (NCEP and ERA-40) and a control simulation of an atmosphere/ocean coupled General Circulation Model (GCM-ECHAM5/MPIOM1). The leading interannual and multi-decadal modes of variability of explosive cyclone track density are characterized by a strengthening/weakening pattern between Newfoundland and Iceland, which is mainly modulated by the NAO at both timescales. However, the NAO control of interannual cyclone variability is not stationary in time and abruptly fluctuates during periods of 20-25 years long both in NCEP and ECHAM5/MPIOM1. These transitions are accompanied by structural changes in the leading mode of explosive cyclone variability, and by decreased/enhanced baroclinicity over the sub-polar/sub-tropical North Atlantic. The influence of the ocean is apparently important for both the occurrence and persistence of such anomalous periods. In the GCM, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation appears to influence the large-scale baroclinicity and explosive cyclone development over the North Atlantic. These results permit a better understanding of explosive cyclogenesis variability at different climatic timescales and might help to improve predictions of these hazardous events.