Largescale Atmospheric Energy And Momentum Budget

8.4.1. Energy transport

We have seen two basic facts about the atmospheric energy budget:

1. There must be a conversion of energy into kinetic energy, from the available potential energy gained from solar heating, which requires that motions develop that transport heat upward (thereby tending to lower the atmospheric center of mass).

2. Accompanying this upward transport, there must be a poleward transport of heat from low latitudes; this transport cools the tropics and heats the polar regions, thus balancing the observed radiative budget.

It is fairly straightforward to estimate the rate of poleward heat transport by atmospheric motions. Consider the northward flow at latitude p across an elemental area dA, of height dz and longitudinal width dk, so dA = a cos p dk dz. The rate at which mass is flowing northward across dA is pv dA, and the associated flux of energy is pvE dA, where

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