Exploring the Biological and Chemical Reach of the MJO: Chl, Ozone and Aerosols

Duane Waliser


The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is a fundamental mode of atmospheric variability in the Tropics that influences a number of important climate and weather phenomena (e.g., monsoon onsets and breaks, El Niño-Southern Oscillation, hurricanes). To a great degree, the impacts from the MJO that have been explored to date have been primarily on the physical climate system. However, the impact of the MJO on other components of the Earth’s climate system are not understood nor even well documented. Our initial analyses indicate that intraseasonal variations of ocean biology and atmospheric composition, specifically tropical chlorophyll, total ozone (O3) and aerosols are large and clearly connected to the MJO’s large-scale convective, dynamic and/or surface flux characteristics. This presentation will discuss the connections between the MJO and these quantities and the questions raised related to the observation uncertainties and/or underlying processes. Important to the implications of this work is whether and how the potential predictability of the MJO may extend to socially relevant prediction of these components of the climate system.