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This study investigates the changes in skewness and kurtosis of five atmospheric variables due to a change in the forcing of a primitive equation global circulation model. First, the average, variance, skewness, and kurtosis are calculated at each grid point of a 100 year time series from the Portable University Model of the Atmosphere (PUMA) model. Global and zonally averaged plots of the first four statistical moments are shown for each variable, which we denote as our control run. The same technique was then done on the same variables under different temperature forcings: an idealized "global warming" environment and "global cooling" environment. Finally, the average, variance, skewness, and kurtosis fields from both the warming and cooling runs were subtracted from the control run to demonstrate the differences in the statical fields. From this we determine that the primitive equations do in fact contribute to the non-Gaussianity seen in the real atmosphere. Also there appears to be a connection to strong non-Gaussianinity due to a stronger equator-pole temperature gradient.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Philip Sura, Professor Directing Thesis; Robert Ellingson, Committee Member; Jon Ahlquist, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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