A Global Traveling Wave on Venus

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Science  01 May 1992:
Vol. 256, Issue 5057, pp. 652-655
DOI: 10.1126/science.256.5057.652


The dominant large-scale pattern in the clouds of Venus has been described as a "γ" or "Ψ" and tentatively identified by earlier workers as a Kelvin wave. A detailed calculation of linear wave modes in the Venus atmosphere verifies this identification. Cloud feedback by infrared heating fluctuations is a plausible excitation mechanism. Modulation of the large-scale pattern by the wave is a possible explanation for the Y. Momentum transfer by the wave could contribute to sustaining the general circulation.