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Climate Variability & Change, Water & Energy Cycles

The El NiƱo/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena has a significant impact on climate variability throughout the world and, as such, has been the key focus for improving coupled ocean-atmosphere forecasts for the tropical Pacific. Assimilation of satellite measurements has shown a unique ability to improve short-term forecasts of this coupled system. Here we extend this research to assess the impact of scatterometry, sea surface temperature (SST) and altimetry observations in seasonal to decadal variability of tropical dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region as well as in dynamical ENSO forecasts. We propose to investigate 1) the Indian Ocean's role in initialization of the coupled system by examining the roles of the Indonesian through-flow and the atmospheric bridge between the Indian and Pacific Oceans on interannual timescales to determine the extent to which coupled predictions can be improved, and 2) decadal time-scales of recharge-discharge of warm water volume via its sea level signature and the extent to which model simulations capture the observed variability, how potential errors are related to ENSO forecast errors, and how local variability in warm water volume (and potential links to the Indian Ocean) is related to ENSO. All of these proposed avenues of research are directly applicable to the goals stated in NASA Physical Oceanography NRA, namely to analyze and interpret ocean circulation using satellite and in situ data to utilize prototype products to constrain ocean general-circulation models in order to more fully understand the oceans role in climate predictability.

Project PI: Antonio Busalacchi/University of Maryland

2207 Computer & Space Sciences Bldg College Park, MD 20742

Phone: (301) 405-5599

Email: tonyb@essic.umd.edu

http://www.newsdesk.umd.edu/experts/hottopic.cfm?hotlist_id=105&expert;_id_all=1909593924R

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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Feb 09, 2011

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