Aperiodic variability in the Cane-Zebiak model: a diagnostic study

Goswami, Bhupendra Nath ; Shukla, J. (1993) Aperiodic variability in the Cane-Zebiak model: a diagnostic study Journal of Climate, 6 (4). pp. 628-638. ISSN 0894-8755

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Official URL: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0...


The finite predictability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system is determined by its aperiodic variability. To gain insight regarding the predictability of such a system, a series of diagnostic studies has been carried out to investigate the role of convergence feedback in producing the aperiodic behavior of the standard version of the Cane-Zebiak model. In this model, an increase in sea surface temperature (SST) increases atmospheric heating by enhancing local evaporation (SST anomaly feedback) and low-level convergence (convergence feedback). The convergence feedback is a nonlinear function of the background mean convergence field. For the set of standard parameters used in the model, it is shown that the convergence feedback contributes importantly to the aperiodic behaviour of the model. As the strength of the convergence feedback is increased from zero to its standard value, the model variability goes from a periodic regime to an aperiodic regime through a broadening of the frequency spectrum around the basic periodicity of about 4 years. Examination of the forcing associated with the convergence feedback reveals that it is intermittent, with relatively large amplitude only during 2 or 3 months in the early part of the calendar year. This seasonality in the efficiency of the convergence feedback is related to the strong seasonality of the mean convergence over the eastern Pacific. It is shown that if the mean convergence field is fixed at its March value, aperiodic behavior is produced even in the absence of annual cycles in the other mean fields. On the, other hand, if the mean convergence field is fixed at its September value, the coupled model evolution remains close to periodic, even in the presence of the annual cycle in the other fields. The role of convergence feedback on the aperiodic variability of the model for other parameter regimes is also examined. It is shown that a range exists in the strength of the SST anomaly feedback for which the model variability is aperiodic even without the convergence feedback. It appears that in the absence of convergence feedback, enhancement of the strength of the air-sea coupling in the model through other physical processes also results in aperiodicity in the model.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to American Meteorological Society.
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Deposited On:01 Dec 2010 13:08
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