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Title: On the predictability of the interannual behaviour of the Madden-Julian oscillation and its relationship with El Nino

Abstract

The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is the dominant mode of tropical variability at intraseasonal timescales. It displays substantial interannual variability in intensity which may have important implications for the predictability of the coupled system. The reasons for this interannual variability are not understood. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether the interannual behavior of the MJO is related to tropical sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies, particularly El Nino, and hence whether it is predictable. The interannual behavior of the MJO has been diagnosed initially in the 40-year NCEP/ NCAR Reanalysis. The results suggest that prior to the mid-1970s the activity of the MJO was consistently lower than during the latter part of the record. This may be related to either inadequacies in the data coverage, particularly over the tropical Indian Ocean prior to the introduction of satellite observations, or to the real effects of a decadal timescale warming in the tropical SSTs. The teleconnection patterns between interannual variations in MJO activity and SST show only a weak, barely significant, influence of El Nino in which the MJO is more active during the cold phase. As well as the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis, a 4-member ensemble of 45 year integrations with themore » Hadley Centre climate model (HadAM2a), forced by observed SSTs for 1949-93, has been used to investigate the relationship between MJO activity and SST. HadAM2a is known to give a reasonable simulation of the MJO and the extended record provided by this ensemble of integrations allows a more robust investigation of the predictability of MJO activity than was possible with the 40-year NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis. The results have shown that, for the uncoupled system, with the atmosphere being driven by imposed SSTS, there is no reproducibility for the activity of the MJO from year to year. The interannual behavior of the MJO is not controlled by the phase of El Nino and would appear to be chaotic in character. However, the model results have confirmed the low frequency, decadal timescale variability of MJO activity seen in the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis. The activity of the MJO is consistently lower in all realizations prior to the mid 1970s, suggesting that the MJO may become more active as tropical SSTs become warmer. This result may have implications for the effects of global warming on the coupled tropical atmosphere-ocean system.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
289673
Report Number(s):
UCRL-JC-130235; CONF-980752-
ON: DE98058840; BR: KP1201010
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: The comprehensive ocean-atmosphere response experiment `98 workshop, Boulder, CO (United States), 7-14 Jul 1998; Other Information: PBD: 1 Mar 1998
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; SEASONAL VARIATIONS; INDIAN OCEAN; TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT; SURFACE AIR; SOUTHERN OSCILLATION

Citation Formats

Sperber, K.R., LLNL. On the predictability of the interannual behaviour of the Madden-Julian oscillation and its relationship with El Nino. United States: N. p., 1998. Web.
Sperber, K.R., LLNL. On the predictability of the interannual behaviour of the Madden-Julian oscillation and its relationship with El Nino. United States.
Sperber, K.R., LLNL. Sun . "On the predictability of the interannual behaviour of the Madden-Julian oscillation and its relationship with El Nino". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/289673.
@article{osti_289673,
title = {On the predictability of the interannual behaviour of the Madden-Julian oscillation and its relationship with El Nino},
author = {Sperber, K.R., LLNL},
abstractNote = {The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is the dominant mode of tropical variability at intraseasonal timescales. It displays substantial interannual variability in intensity which may have important implications for the predictability of the coupled system. The reasons for this interannual variability are not understood. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether the interannual behavior of the MJO is related to tropical sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies, particularly El Nino, and hence whether it is predictable. The interannual behavior of the MJO has been diagnosed initially in the 40-year NCEP/ NCAR Reanalysis. The results suggest that prior to the mid-1970s the activity of the MJO was consistently lower than during the latter part of the record. This may be related to either inadequacies in the data coverage, particularly over the tropical Indian Ocean prior to the introduction of satellite observations, or to the real effects of a decadal timescale warming in the tropical SSTs. The teleconnection patterns between interannual variations in MJO activity and SST show only a weak, barely significant, influence of El Nino in which the MJO is more active during the cold phase. As well as the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis, a 4-member ensemble of 45 year integrations with the Hadley Centre climate model (HadAM2a), forced by observed SSTs for 1949-93, has been used to investigate the relationship between MJO activity and SST. HadAM2a is known to give a reasonable simulation of the MJO and the extended record provided by this ensemble of integrations allows a more robust investigation of the predictability of MJO activity than was possible with the 40-year NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis. The results have shown that, for the uncoupled system, with the atmosphere being driven by imposed SSTS, there is no reproducibility for the activity of the MJO from year to year. The interannual behavior of the MJO is not controlled by the phase of El Nino and would appear to be chaotic in character. However, the model results have confirmed the low frequency, decadal timescale variability of MJO activity seen in the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis. The activity of the MJO is consistently lower in all realizations prior to the mid 1970s, suggesting that the MJO may become more active as tropical SSTs become warmer. This result may have implications for the effects of global warming on the coupled tropical atmosphere-ocean system.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1998},
month = {3}
}

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