The interaction of the Madden-Julian Oscillation with the Maritime Continent in a GCM
Inness, P. M. and Slingo, J. M. (2006) The interaction of the Madden-Julian Oscillation with the Maritime Continent in a GCM. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 132 (618). pp. 1645-1667. ISSN 1477-870X
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Previous studies using the Hadley Centre coupled model (HadCM3) have shown that the islands of the Maritime Continent act as an unrealistic block to the eastward propagation of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). This blocking effect is investigated using a simplified, aqua-planet version of this GCM, with various idealized configurations of the Maritime Continent islands placed on the equator, and an MJO-like convective signal forced by a propagating sea-surface temperature anomaly dipole. Results suggest that it is the orography of the islands, rather than the presence of the islands themselves, which results in the blocking of the MJO. Although the peak elevation of the orography in the GCM is very much lower than in reality, it appears to act as effective block to the eastward propagation of the low-level Kelvin wave signal which accompanies the MJO. In particular, the representation of Sumatra in the GCM, as a north-south oriented ridge straddling the equator, seems to be particularly effective at blocking the Kelvin wave signal, which in a full GCM would result in the weakening or complete extinction of the MJO signal to the east of the Maritime Continent.