A Variable Resolution Global Spectral Method With Finer Resolution Over The Tropics
Variable resolution method helps to study the local scale phenomenon of interest within the context of global scale atmosphere/ocean dynamics. Global spectral methods based on spherical harmonics as basis functions are known to resolve a given function defined on the sphere, in an uniform manner. Though known for its mathematical elegance and higher order accuracy, global spectral methods are considered to be restrictive for developing mesh-refinement strategies. The only mesh refinement strategy available until now is due to the pioneering work of F. Schmidt. Schmidt transformation can study only one region with higher resolution. The study of tropical dynamics is an interesting theme due to the presence of teleconnections between various phenomena, especially Indian Monsoon and the El-Nino. The Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)is a continental scale phenamenon. It is in the ITCZ, many monsoon systems and tropical cyclones do occur. To study such phenomena under variable resolution method, high resolution is required in the entire tropical belt. Hitherto such a kind of mesh refinement strategies were not available in global spectral models. In this work, a new variable resolution method is developed that can help to study the tropical sub-scale phenomena with high resolution, in global spectral models. A new conformal coordinate transformation named ’High resolution Tropical Belt Transformation(HTBT)’ is developed to generate high resolution in the entire tropical belt. Mathematical demonstrations are given to show the existence of additional conformal transformations available on the sphere, indicating additional degrees of freedom available to create variable resolution global spectral method. Variable resolution global spectral method with high resolution over tropics is created through HTBT. The restriction imposed by Schmidt’s framework that the map-ping factor of the transformation need to have a finite-decomposition in the spectral space of the transformed domain is relaxed, by introduction of a new framework. The new framework uses transformed spherical harmonics Bnm as basis for spectral computations. With the use of FFT algorithm and Gaussian quadrature, the efficiency of the traditional spectral method is retained with the variable resolution global spectral method. The newly defined basis functions Bnm are the eigenvalues of the transformed Laplacian operator . This property of Bnm provide an elegant direct solver for the transformed Helmholtz operator on the sphere. The transformed Helmholtz equations are solved accurately with the variable resolution method. Advection experiments conducted with variable resolution spectral transport scheme on the HTBT variable grid produces near-dispersion free advection on the tropical belt. Transport across homogeneous resolution regions produce very less dispersion errors. Transport of a feature over the poles result in severe grid representation errors. It is shown that an increase in resolution around the poles greatly reduces this error. Transport of a feature from a point close to poles but not over it, does not produce such representation errors. Fourth-order Runge-Kutta scheme improves the accuracy of the transport scheme. The second order Magazenkov time-scheme proves to be better accurate than the leap-frog scheme with Asselin filter. The non-divergent barotropic vorticity equation is tested with two exact solutions namely Rochas solution and Rossby-Haurwitz wave solutions. Each of the solution tests certain unique and contrasting characteristic of the system. The numerical behaviour of the solutions show non-linear interactions in them. The singularity at the poles, arising due to the unbounded nature of the latitudinal derivative of the map factor of HTBT, triggers Gibbs phenomena for certain functions. However the recent advances in spectral methods, especially spectral viscosity method and Boyd-Vandeven filtering strategy provide ways to control the Gibbs oscillation and recover higher accuracy; make the variable resolution global spectral method viable for accurate meteorological computations.