IUTAM Symposium on Turbulence in the Atmosphere and Oceans
The text of the Persian poet Rum ¯ ¯ ?, written some eight centuries ago, and reproduced at the beginning of this book is still relevant to many of our pursuits of knowledge, not least of turbulence. The text illustrates the inability people have in seeing the whole thing, the ‘big picture’. Everybody looks into the problem from his/her vi- point, and that leads to disagreement and controversy. If we could see the whole thing, our understanding would become complete and there would be no cont- versy. The turbulent motion of the atmosphere and oceans, at the heart of the observed general circulation, is undoubtedly very complex and dif?cult to understand in its entirety. Even ‘bare’ turbulence, without rotation and strati?cation whose effects are paramount in the atmosphere and oceans, still poses great fundamental ch- lenges for understanding after a century of research. Rotating strati?ed turbulence is a relatively new research topic. It is also far richer, exhibiting a host of distinct wave types interacting in a complicated and often subtle way with long-lived - herent structures such as jets or currents and vortices. All of this is tied together by basic ?uid-dynamical nonlinearity, and this gives rise to a multitude of phen- ena: spontaneous wave emission, wave-induced transport, both direct and inverse energy scale cascades, lateral and vertical anisotropy, fronts and transport barriers, anomalous transport in coherent vortices, and a very wide range of dynamical and thermodynamical instabilities.
IUTAM symposia are state of the art in their field; New fundamental insight into the mechanisms shaping planetary circulations.