Articles | Volume 18, issue 21
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 15975–16003, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-15975-2018
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 15975–16003, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-15975-2018

Research article 07 Nov 2018

Research article | 07 Nov 2018

On the role of thermal expansion and compression in large-scale atmospheric energy and mass transports

Melville E. Nicholls and Roger A. Pielke Sr.

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Short summary
The current understanding of atmospheric energy and mass transports is that the general circulation moves energy and mass from place to place in a relatively slow manner at the speed of the winds. This study challenges this view and provides evidence that considerable transfer can occur at the speed of sound. This transport mechanism is probably not adequately represented in current global models, which potentially could be a source of error that has yet to be evaluated.
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