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South Atlantic Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction

PI: Ingo Richter
Institution: UCLA Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
The project outlined here is a collaboration between the UCLA Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (PI: Carlos R. Mechoso) and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (PI: Andrew W. Robertson).

Ocean-atmosphere interactions are a topic of major interest in the climate research community because of the potential such interactions have for predicting climatic anomalies over the adjacent continents on interannual time scales. This project addresses the coupled ocean-atmosphere-land-surface processes underlying tropical Atlantic SST variability, with the ultimate goal of improving seasonal-to-interannual climate forecasts for the region. The project uses various configurations of a global climate system model that features atmospheric, oceanic, and land-surface components, as well as a nested regional model.

As part of this research effort we are studying the representation of the South Atlantic anticyclone in the UCLA AGCM. Compared to observations, the model produces an anticyclone that is shifted to the west and too elongated in the zonal direction. This has serious consequences for the simulated mean climate as well as interannual variability. Data from the NCAR CCSM and the PCM indicate that this problem may exist in other models too.

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