baroclinic instability


Definition of 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

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First Known Use of baroclinic instability

1959, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of baroclinic instability was in 1959

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Cite this Entry

“Baroclinic instability.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 2020.

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showing steady, earnest care and effort

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