Updated 2/18/14

About the Above Image
This image (actually pieced together from multiple images) was acquired on December 8, 1992, by NASA's Galileo spacecraft, as it swung by Earth on its way out to Jupiter. It shows a wonderful but physically impossible view of the Southern Hemisphere. A substantial fraction of the image should be in darkness, even though the image depicts a time near the summer solstice of the Southern Hemisphere. This view was created by patching together a mosaic of several images taken by Galileo over a 24-hour period, and remapping them as they would be seen from above the pole. South America, Africa, and Australia are respectively seen at the middle left, upper right, and lower right.

Of particular interest are the beautiful cloud patterns associated with extratropical cyclones in the storm track ringing Antarctica. This picture is reminiscent of photos of RdishpanS experiments, in which aspects of the general circulation are simulated in a rotating, differentially heated laboratory tank.

Class Calendar

First Things
Ch 1:Introduction
Ch 2:What makes it go?
Ch 3:An Overview of the observations
Ch 4:Conservation of momentum and energy
Ch 5:The mean meridional circulation
Ch 6:An overview of the effects of radiation & convection
Ch 7:The energy cycle
Ch 8:Planetary-scale waves and other eddies
Ch 9:Interactions and non-interactions of eddies
with the zonally averaged flow

QBO Movie
Ch 10:The general circulation as turbulence
The World's Simplest GCM
Ch 11:The future of the circulation (coming soon)

Data on Pressure Surfaces
Data files in NetCDF format (use ncdump to look up the internal variable names):

Data on Isentropic Surfaces
ERA-Interim data. Please contact Kelley Wittmeyer if you have problems obtaining the files below.


ERA40-based atlas of the general circulation may be found here: ERA40_PRS19.pdf
This file is 73MB