QBO/solar modulation of the boreal winter Madden-Julian oscillation: A prediction for the coming solar minimum
AuthorHood, Lon L.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Lunar & Planetary Lab
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherAMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION
CitationQBO/solar modulation of the boreal winter Madden-Julian oscillation: A prediction for the coming solar minimum 2017, 44 (8):3849 Geophysical Research Letters
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Rights© 2017. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractThe Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO), also known as the 30-60day oscillation, is the strongest of the intraseasonal climate oscillations in the tropics and has significant derivative effects on extratropical circulation and intraseasonal climate. It has recently been shown that the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) modulates the amplitude of the boreal winter MJO such that MJO amplitudes are larger on average during the easterly phase (QBOE) than during the westerly phase (QBOW). A major possible mechanism is the decrease in static stability in the lowermost stratosphere under QBOE conditions resulting from relative upwelling associated with the QBO-induced meridional circulation. Here evidence is presented that tropical upwelling changes related to the 11year solar cycle also modulate the boreal winter MJO. Based on 37.3years of MJO amplitude data, the largest amplitudes and occurrence rates, and the weakest static stabilities in the tropical lower stratosphere, occur during the QBOE phase under solar minimum (SMIN) conditions while the smallest amplitudes and strongest static stabilities occur during the QBOW phase under solar maximum (SMAX) conditions. Conversely, when the QBO and solar forcings are opposed (QBOW/SMIN and QBOE/SMAX), the difference in occurrence rates becomes statistically insignificant. During the coming solar minimum, at least one additional winter in the QBOE/SMIN category should occur (possibly as early as 2017/2018) during which especially large MJO amplitudes are expected and an initial test of these results will be possible. Plain Language Summary An ongoing issue in climate science is the extent to which upper atmospheric processes, including solar forcing, can influence tropospheric climate. It has recently been shown that an internal oscillation of the stratosphere, the quasi-biennial oscillation, can modulate the amplitude and occurrence rate of intraseasonal climate oscillations in the tropical Pacific during northern winter. These intraseasonal oscillations, the most important of which is the 30-60day Madden-Julian oscillation, have significant derivative effects on climate outside of the tropics, including impacts on rainfall events over the continental United States. Here evidence is presented that the amplitude of the Madden-Julian oscillation during northern winter is also modulated by the 11year solar cycle. The modulation is such that amplitudes and occurrence rates are largest under solar minimum conditions when the quasi-biennial oscillation is in its easterly phase and smallest under solar maximum conditions when the quasi-biennial oscillation is in its westerly phase. However, the available time record (37.3years of satellite measurements) is limited. During the coming solar minimum, at least one additional winter in the solar minimum/easterly category should occur (possibly as early as 2017/2018) during which larger-than-average amplitudes are expected and an initial test of the proposed relationship will be possible.
Note6 month embargo; First published: 28 April 2017
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNASA [NNX14AD44G]; National Science Foundation