Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Variations over the South Atlantic Ocean

Paulo Nobre, Roberto A. De Almeida, Marta Malagutti, Emanuel Giarolla
2012 Journal of Climate  
The impact of ocean-atmosphere interactions on summer rainfall over the South Atlantic Ocean is explored through the use of coupled ocean-atmosphere models. The Brazilian Center for Weather Forecast and Climate Studies (CPTEC) coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation model (CGCM) and its atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) are used to gauge the role of coupled modes of variability of the climate system over the South Atlantic at seasonal time scales. Twenty-six years of summer
more » ... ears of summer [December-February (DJF)] simulations were done with the CGCM in ensemble mode and the AGCM forced with both observed sea surface temperature (SST) and SST generated by the CGCM forecasts to investigate the dynamics/thermodynamics of the two major convergence zones in the tropical Atlantic: the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and the South Atlantic convergence zone (SACZ). The results present both numerical model and observational evidence supporting the hypothesis that the ITCZ is a thermally direct, SSTdriven atmospheric circulation, while the SACZ is a thermally indirect atmospheric circulation controlling SST variability underneath-a consequence of ocean-atmosphere interactions not captured by the atmospheric model forced by prescribed ocean temperatures. Six CGCM model results of the Ensemble-based Predictions of Climate Changes and their Impacts (ENSEMBLES) project, NCEP-NCAR reanalysis data, and oceanic and atmospheric data from buoys of the Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA) Project over the tropical Atlantic are used to validate CPTEC's coupled and uncoupled model simulations.
doi:10.1175/jcli-d-11-00444.1 fatcat:ln7fktwmhvcvxdkqocgjtgumbu