Decadal oscillations in a simple coupled model

  • Münnich M
  • Latif M
  • Venzke S
 et al. 
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Abstract To study the dynamics that may lead to decadal oscillations in the North Pacific a simple coupled model is developed. The ocean is based on the linear, potential vorticity equation for baroclinic planetary waves. The atmosphere is reduced to a nonlocal wind response to thermocline depth anomalies. The wind stress has a spatially fixed structure and its amplitude depends on the thermocline perturbation at one location or in a predefined index region. Such a simple coupled model produces decadal oscillations for suitable parameter choices. For realistic wind stress patterns, the patterns of oceanic variability are similar to those observed. It is determined by the speed of long Rossby waves at the coupling latitude. The period of the oscillation is rather insensitive to the coupling strength and amounts to approximately twice the time the Rossby wave needs to travel from the center of the wind stress curl anomaly to the coupling location. A stochastic component to the atmospheric forcing is incorpo...

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  • Matthias Münnich

  • Mojib Latif

  • Stephan Venzke

  • Ernst Maier-Reimer

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