John Marshall

Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Oceanography, MIT

A model of decadal middle-latitude atmosphere-ocean coupled modes

A model of decadal middle-latitude atmosphere-ocean coupled modes.

(Goodman, J and Marshall, J), JOURNAL OF CLIMATE, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. pages, 1999.


An analytical model of the mutual interaction of the middle-latitude atmosphere and ocean is formulated and studied. The model is found to support coupled modes in which oceanic baroclinic Rossby waves of decadal period grow through positive coupled feedback between the thermal forcing of the atmosphere induced by SST anomalies and the resulting wind stress forcing of the ocean. Growth only occurs if the atmospheric response to thermal forcing is equivalent barotropic, with a particular phase relationship with the underlying SST anomalies. The dependence of the growth rate and structure of the modes on the nature of the assumed physics of air-sea interaction is explored, and their possible relation to observed phenomena discussed.

doi = 10.1175/1520-0442(1999)0122.0.CO;2