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Climate 2018, 6(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6020045

Sensitivity of the Madden Julian Oscillation to Ocean Warming in a Lagrangian Atmospheric Model

Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8109, USA
Received: 12 April 2018 / Revised: 12 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
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Abstract

The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is the largest contributor to intraseasonal weather variations in the tropics. It is associated with a broad region of enhanced rainfall that moves slowly eastward over the Indian and western Pacific Oceans, which has global impacts on atmospheric circulations. A number of recent observational and modeling studies have suggested that the MJO is becoming stronger as the oceans warm. In this study, the author explores the sensitivity of the MJO to ocean warming in a recently developed Lagrangian Atmospheric Model (LAM), which has been shown to simulate robust and realistic MJOs in previous work. Numerical simulations suggest that ocean warming leads to more frequent and intense MJOs that propagate more rapidly and cover a larger region of the tropics. The strengthening of the MJO is attributed to enhanced surface fluxes of moisture coming from the warmer ocean waters. While the LAM simulations have a number of limitations owing to idealized physical parameterizations and the use of prescribed sea surface temperatures, they provide additional evidence that the MJO will strengthen if the oceans continue to warm, and they also shed light on the mechanism of this strengthening. View Full-Text
Keywords: Madden Julian Oscillation; ocean warming; Lagrangian atmospheric model Madden Julian Oscillation; ocean warming; Lagrangian atmospheric model
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Haertel, P. Sensitivity of the Madden Julian Oscillation to Ocean Warming in a Lagrangian Atmospheric Model. Climate 2018, 6, 45.

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