National Weather Center Colloquium
Dynamics of the Madden-Julain oscillation
Dr. Adam Sobel
06 May 2014, 3:30 PM
National Weather Center, Room 1313
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
University of Oklahoma
Reception at 3:30 PM
The Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) is the dominant mode of variability in the tropics on the intra-seasonal time scale and one of the most important coherent, quasi-periodic modes of natural variability in the global climate system altogether. Though it was discovered over 40 years ago, we still do not understand the MJO in the sense of being able to state a simple mathematical model that explains its basic features as consequences of clear physical mechanisms. Evidence will be presented that the MJO is what some of us now call a "moisture mode", best analyzed through the budget of moist static energy or moist entropy. It will be argued that cloud-radiative feedbacks are important to the maintenance of the MJO, while horizontal advection of moisture is important to its eastward propagation. Evidence to this effect will be presented from observations, theory, general-circulation, and cloud-resolving models.
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