J. Phys. IV France
Volume 121, December 2004
Page(s) 125 - 137

J. Phys. IV France 121 (2004) 125-137

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:2004121007

The atmospheric response to boundary forcing and the use of diagnostic models

N.M.J. Hall

CNRS/LTHE, BP. 53, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France

A philosophy of hierarchical modelling is espoused in which models of intermediate complexity bridge the gap between comprehensive simulations and theory. These diagnostic models may have part of the solution constrained by observations, allowing the study of isolated processes in a simplified but realistic setting. To illustrate the use of such models examples are given from the influence of mountains and sea surface temperature variations on the large scale atmospheric circulation. Aspects of the problem such as time dependence, nonlinearity and transient feedback are discussed in turn and the models developed to address these problems are described. Emphasis throughout is on modelling techniques rather than on physical mechanisms.

© EDP Sciences 2004