Effects of convective processes on GCM simulations of the Madden-Julian oscillation

Liping Deng, Xiaoqing Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Weak temporal variability in tropical climates such as the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) is one of major deficiencies in general circulation models (GCMs). The uncertainties in the representation of convection and cloud processes are responsible for these deficiencies. With the improvement made to the convection scheme, the Iowa State University (ISU) GCM, which is based on a version of the NCAR Community Climate Model, is able to simulate many features of MJO as revealed by observations. In this study, four 10-yr (1979-88) ISU GCM simulations with observed sea surface temperatures are analyzed and compared to examine the effects of the revised convection closure, convection trigger condition, and convective momentum transport (CMT) on the MJO simulations. The modifications made in the convection scheme improve the simulations of amplitude, spatial distribution, eastward propagation, and horizontal and vertical structures, especially for the coherent feature of eastward-propagating convection and the precursor sign of convective center. The revised convection closure plays a key role in the improvement of the eastward propagation of MJO. The convection trigger helps produce less frequent but more vigorous moist convection and enhance the amplitude of the MJO signal. The inclusion of CMT results in a more coherent structure for the MJO deep convective center and its corresponding atmospheric variances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-377
Number of pages26
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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