Second harmonic generation is the lowest-order wave-wave nonlinear interaction occurring in, e.g., optical, radio, and magnetohydrodynamic systems. As a prototype behavior of waves, second harmonic generation is used broadly, e.g., for doubling Laser frequency. Second harmonic generation of Rossby waves has long been believed to be a mechanism of high-frequency Rossby wave generation via cascade from low-frequency waves. Here, we report the observation of a Rossby wave second harmonic generation event in the atmosphere. We diagnose signatures of two transient waves at periods of 16 and 8 days in the terrestrial middle atmosphere, using meteor-radar wind observations over the European and Asian sectors during winter 2018–2019. Their temporal evolution, frequency and wavenumber relations, and phase couplings revealed by bicoherence and biphase analyses demonstrate that the 16-day signature is an atmospheric manifestation of a Rossby wave normal mode, and its second harmonic generation gives rise to the 8-day signature. Our finding confirms the theoretically-anticipated Rossby wave nonlinearity.
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