The tropical oceans play an important role in global weather and climate. Prominent modes of tropical ocean-atmosphere variability include El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Atlantic zonal and meridional modes, and the Indian Ocean Dipole. The sea surface temperature (SST) variations associated with these modes alter deep convection and continental rainfall in the tropics and atmospheric circulation patterns across the globe. The tropical ocean-atmosphere system has also undergone significant changes in recent decades due to radiative forcing from aerosols, such as sulfate aerosols and dust, and anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The focus of this research opportunity is to better understand the role of the tropical ocean in climate variability, and change and extreme weather. Examples of specific research topics include (1) the contribution of the tropical oceans to terrestrial rainfall and extra-tropical extreme weather events, (2) mechanisms of interannual to multidecadal variations of tropical Atlantic ocean-atmosphere variability, and (3) the role of the upper ocean in tropical cyclone intensification.
Evan AT, Foltz GR, et al: Nature Geoscience 4: 762-765, doi:10.1038/ngeo1276, 2011
Lee SK, et al: Journal of Climate 26: 1626-1642, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00128.1, 2013
Balaguru K, Taraphdar S, Leung LR, Foltz GR: Geophysical Research Letters 41: 3594-3601, doi:10.1002/2014GL060197, 2014
ENSO; Tropical Atlantic variability; Extreme weather; Tropical cyclones; Sea surface temperature; Rainfall; Indian monsoon; Indian Ocean Dipole;