Preferred modes of variability and their relationship with climate change

Seok Woo Son, Sukyoung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Spatial structure of annular modes shows a remarkable resemblance to that of the recent trend in the observed circulation (Thompson et al.). This study performs a series of multilevel primitive equation model simulations to examine the extent to which the annular mode is capable of predicting changes in the zonal-mean flow response to external heat perturbations. Each of these simulations represents a statistically steady state and differs from each other in the values of the imposed tropical heating (H) and high-latitude cooling (C). Defining the annula r mode as the first empirical orthogonal function (EOF1) of zonal-mean tropospheric zonal wind, it is found that the "climate predictability" is generally high in the small C-large H region of the parameter space, but is markedly low in the large C-small H region. In the former region, EOF1 represents meridional meandering of the midlatitude jet, while in the latter region, EOF1 and EOF2 combine to represent coherent poleward propagation of zonal-mean flow anomalies. It is also found that the climate predictability tends to be higher with respect to changes in C than to changes in H. The implications of these findings for the Southern Hemisphere climate predictability are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2063-2075
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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