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How Earth's rotation affects hurricanes and ocean currents

Washington, Oct. 20 : French researchers have developed a mathematical model to study the behaviour of earthly vortices, like hurricanes and ocean currents.


In the new paper, researchers Junho Park and Paul Billant of the CNRS Laboratoire d'Hydrodynamique in France describe their study of one such geophysical vortex behavior, radiative instability, and how it is affected by two factors, density stratification and background rotation.

Park said that in this study they have considered how background rotation -- in this case, the rotation of the Earth -- impacts them.

Park explained examples of density stratification in nature, which include the decrease in air density as one moves higher in the atmosphere or the increase in water density due to salinity and temperature with increasing ocean depth.

Park said that what they learned from their models is that strong background rotation suppresses the radiative instability, a characteristic that had been expected but whose dynamics had never been studied precisely.

Park said that they've now developed a sophisticated mathematical means to explain this phenomenon, and that's important to being better able to study and understand the behavior of geophysical vortices such as hurricanes and ocean currents.

The study has been published in the journal Physics of Fluids.

--ANI (Posted on 20-10-2013)

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