Speaker: Minmin Fu
Minmin will be presenting the paper "Barotropic vortex pairs on a rotating sphere".
Here are his thoughts on the paper:
"Vortex pairs are frequently encountered in all aspects of fluid dynamics. One important case of vortex pairs in geophysical fluid dynamics is the phenomena of atmospheric blocking. In this paper, the authors construct a simplified barotropic model in spherical geometry to study the stability and nonlinear evolution of vortex pairs. The authors investigate two main types of instability, one determined by the relative strength of the vortex pair to the background flow and the other driven by the finite area of the vortices, which destabilizes some otherwise stable configurations. With regards to practical applications, the authors conclude that weak westward traveling free barotropic vortex pairs are highly unstable, suggesting that forcing mechanisms must play an important role in maintaining atmospheric blocking events. "