Skip to Content

3 perspectives of the impact of moisture on heat transport using an idealized model

Poleward heat transport in the midlatitudes happens primarily though atmospheric eddies. Understanding this transport is complicated by two aspects; firstly the eddies are not permament features, which means that care needs to be taken when averaging, and secondly the eddy transport is associated with large amounts of latent heating that needs to be accounted for. In this presentation I will look at 3 different ways to understand the heat transport created by the eddies and the influence of latent heating.

The first perspective will use potential temperature and equivalent potential temperature to track surface anomalies into the polar mid-troposphere. The second perspective will use mass fluxes projected into an equivalent potential temperature phase space to understand the distribution of mass fluxes, and the third perspective will look at using a tracer framework to explicitly track heat produced by latent heating. By presenting these 3 perspectives together I hope to help develop intuition about the processes which create and transport heat poleward.