The Extratropical 40-Day Oscillation in the UCLA General Circulation Model. Part I: Atmospheric Angular Momentum

S. L. Marcus Space Geodetic Science and Applications Group, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
Climate Dynamics Center, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

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M. Ghil Climate Dynamics Center, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

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J. O. Dickey Space Geodetic Science and Applications Group, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

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Abstract

Variations in atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) are examined in a three-year simulation of the large-scale atmosphere with perpetual January forcing. The simulation is performed with a version of the UCLA general circulation model that contains no tropical Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). In addition, the results of three shorter experiments with no topography are analyzed. The three-year standard topography run contains no significant intraseasonal AAM periodicity in the tropics, consistent with the lack of the MJO, but produces a robust, 42-day AAM oscillation in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) extratropics. The model tropics undergoes a barotropic, zonally symmetric oscillation, driven by an exchange of mass with the NH extratropics. No intraseasonal periodicity is found in the average tropical latent heating field, indicating that the model oscillation is dynamically rather than thermodynamically driven. The no-mountain runs fail to produce an intraseasonal AAM oscillation, consistent with a topographic origin for the NH extratropical oscillation in the standard model. The spatial patterns of the oscillation in the 500-mb height field, and the relationship of the extratropical oscillation to intraseasonal variations in the tropics, will be discussed in Part II of this study.

Abstract

Variations in atmospheric angular momentum (AAM) are examined in a three-year simulation of the large-scale atmosphere with perpetual January forcing. The simulation is performed with a version of the UCLA general circulation model that contains no tropical Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). In addition, the results of three shorter experiments with no topography are analyzed. The three-year standard topography run contains no significant intraseasonal AAM periodicity in the tropics, consistent with the lack of the MJO, but produces a robust, 42-day AAM oscillation in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) extratropics. The model tropics undergoes a barotropic, zonally symmetric oscillation, driven by an exchange of mass with the NH extratropics. No intraseasonal periodicity is found in the average tropical latent heating field, indicating that the model oscillation is dynamically rather than thermodynamically driven. The no-mountain runs fail to produce an intraseasonal AAM oscillation, consistent with a topographic origin for the NH extratropical oscillation in the standard model. The spatial patterns of the oscillation in the 500-mb height field, and the relationship of the extratropical oscillation to intraseasonal variations in the tropics, will be discussed in Part II of this study.

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