baroclinic instability

baroclinic instability

[¦bar·ə¦klin·ik in·stə′bil·əd·ē]
(meteorology)
A hydrodynamic instability arising from the existence of a meridional temperature gradient (and hence of a thermal wind) in an atmosphere in quasi-geostrophic equilibrium and possessing static stability.
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You earned the Sverdrup medal for your "theories of the general circulation and baroclinic instability.
The theory that describes these phenomena is called baroclinic instability.