baroclinic instability


: an imbalance in the levels of pressure and density in a fluid that is one of the mechanisms determining the behavior of the earth's atmosphere
The instability that causes these particular disturbances is called a baroclinic instability which occurs when the latitudinal temperature differences become too large.James B. Pollack, The New Solar System, 1981

Word History

First Known Use

1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of baroclinic instability was in 1959

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Dictionary Entries Near baroclinic instability

Cite this Entry

“Baroclinic instability.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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