Here's something I am quite excited about: 3D stuff to touch! I have created all these models, put them into my presentations, and people loved them. But on a website it's just not the same. So I went back and coded some more to put real 3D stuff onto my website. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
If nothing appears in the panels below, I am afraid this doesn't work with the version of your browser. This site uses WebGL, a rather new technology, which is not supported by all browsers yet.
I have spent a long time tuning my simplified model. The goal was to obtain a realistic stratosphere, even though my model does not contain any chemistry or radiation. (If you are scientifically interested in this, check out our paper.)
As the atmosphere changes over the year (what we call seasons), it is rather difficult to compare measurements and model outputs in 2D graphs. Therefore, I decided to look at the problem in 3D, as I find this much more intuitive. I have never seen such plots before, and I am convinced that a lot of people talking about the seasonal cycle or spatial structures would learn something from simply looking at the problem in 3D.
Below are the climatologies, for zonal (east-west) wind, temperature, and residual mean circulation. The circulation is split into arrows, showing the direction of the flow, and isosurfaces, showing the strength of the circulation. Black means strong, light gray weak circulation. Zonal wind is divided into 20,30, and 40m/s surfaces, and temperature into 180,190,200,210,280,290, and 300 Kelvin surfaces. Time is running from the back (January 1st) to the front (December 31st), with the equinoxes and solstices are marked by the grid.
All you need to know for the fun: Green means cold, purple means strong wind, the gray box is the troposphere, above that the stratosphere. In the center is the equator, to right and left the North and South Poles, in the back and in the front Northern Hemisphere winter, halfway Southern Hemisphere winter. You can turn any variable on or off as you wish, and rotate with your mouse.
You can load either the "real" climatology from the ERA-Interim dataset, or my model output, or both for direct comparison.
Wait for the grid and fields to appear, as there are a few megabytes to be displayed. The variables are: U = Westerly wind, T = Temperature, C = Circulation, S = Streamfunction
Stratospheric Sudden Warmings
Stratospheric Sudden Warmings (SSWs) define the reversal of the zonal (east-west) winds over the winter pole. They happen about once or twice every northern hemisphere winter, and only one has been observed so far in the southern hemisphere. SSWs are important as they correspond to violent effects in the stratosphere, and can re-distribute chemical tracers in the stratosphere, as for example ozone. But they are also important for the weather at Earth's surface, as the strong weakening of the polar stratospheric winds influence the weather systems at the surface.
Usually, we get bad weather up to two months after a sudden warming occurred.
I have compiled an ensemble of over four hundred SSWs during my simulations, and was able to find a way to combine all of them into one 3D figure. Namely, below I have divided the variables (such as zonal wind) by their time-averaged values, and composited all SSWs of my simulations into these figures.
All you need to know for the fun: The horizontal axes are the time "lag" in days before and after the SSW occurs. Only the northern hemisphere is shown. The vertical axis is pressure (or height). You can turn any variable on or off as you wish, and rotate with your mouse.
Wait for the grid and fields to appear, as there are a few megabytes to be displayed. The variables are: U = Westerly wind: red is stronger, purple weaker than usual, blue inverse direction; T = Temperature: red is warmer, blue colder than usual; v'T' = Eddy heat flux: green is stronger, light purple weaker than usual; S = Streamfunction: only stronger than usual is observed; Ps = Surface pressure: green-white is higher, blue lower than usual.
Stay tuned, as this is a very new part of my website, and more 3D stuff will be uploaded in the future.