Superrotation in Planetary Atmospheres

Takeshi Imamura, Jonathan Mitchell, Sebastien Lebonnois, Yohai Kaspi, Adam P. Showman, Oleg Korablev
2020 Space Science Reviews  
Superrotation is a dynamical regime where the atmosphere circulates around the planet in the direction of planetary rotation with excess angular momentum in the equatorial region. Superrotation is known to exist in the atmospheres of Venus, Titan, Jupiter, and Saturn in the solar system. Some of the exoplanets also exhibit superrotation. Our understanding of superrotation in a framework of circulation regimes of the atmospheres of terrestrial planets is in progress thanks to the development of
more » ... umerical models; a global instability involving planetary-scale waves seems to play a key role, and the dynamical state depends on the Rossby number, a measure of the relative importance of the inertial and Coriolis forces, and the thermal inertia of the atmosphere. Recent general circulation models of Venus's and Titan's atmospheres demonstrated the importance of horizontal waves in the angular momentum transport in these atmospheres and also an additional contribution of thermal tides in Venus's atmosphere. The atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn also exhibit strong superrotation. Recent gravity data suggests that these superrotational flows extend deep into the planet, yet currently no single mechanism has been identified as driving this superrotation. Moreover, atmospheric circulation models of tidally locked, strongly Understanding the Diversity of Planetary Atmospheres Edited by François Forget,
doi:10.1007/s11214-020-00703-9 fatcat:rjgvhoihxbamhboqf5t2cnvoiy