Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 22331-22336, 2009
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/22331/2009/
doi:10.5194/acpd-9-22331-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Comment on "Reinterpreting aircraft measurements in anisotropic scaling turbulence" by Lovejoy et al. (2009)
E. Lindborg1, K. K. Tung2, G. D. Nastrom3, J. Y. N. Cho4, and K. S. Gage5
1Linné Flow Centre, KTH Mechanics, 10044 Stockholm, Sweden
2Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
3St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN, USA
4MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA, USA
5Cooperative Institute for the Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA

Abstract. Recently, Lovejoy et al. (2009) argued that the steep ~k−3 atmospheric kinetic energy spectrum at synoptic scales (≳1000 km) observed by aircraft is a spurious artefact of aircraft following isobars instead of isoheights. Without taking into account the earth's rotation they hypothesise that the horizontal atmospheric energy spectrum should scale as k−5/3 at all scales. We point out that the approximate k−3-spectrum at synoptic scales has been observed by a number of non-aircraft means since the 1960s and that general circulation models and other current models have successfully produced this spectrum. We also argue that the vertical movements of the aircraft are far too small to cause any strong effect on the measured spectrum at synoptic scales.

Citation: Lindborg, E., Tung, K. K., Nastrom, G. D., Cho, J. Y. N., and Gage, K. S.: Comment on "Reinterpreting aircraft measurements in anisotropic scaling turbulence" by Lovejoy et al. (2009), Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 22331-22336, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-22331-2009, 2009.
 
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