Instability of the Chaotic ENSO: The Growth-Phase Predictability Barrier Public Deposited

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  • The local predictability of the El Nin˜o–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is examined by the analysis of the evolution of small disturbances to an unstable 4.3-yr ENSO cycle in the Cane–Zebiak model forced by perpetual July conditions. The 4.3-yr cycle represents the dominant near-recurrent behavior in this weakly chaotic regime, so analysis of this single cycle gives useful insights into the dynamics of the irregular oscillation. Growing and neutral time-dependent eigenmodes of the unstable cycle are computed. Disturbance growth analyses based on these eigenmodes, and on singular vectors computed in the unstable-neutral subspace, suggest that there is a predictability barrier associated with the growth phase of El Nin˜o conditions. This barrier arises because the growth mechanism for disturbances to the cycle is nearly the same as the growth mechanism for the El Nin˜o conditions themselves. The local amplification of disturbances during the growth phase is several times greater than the eigenmode amplification associated with time-dependent (Floquet) normal-mode instability of the cycle. It is suggested that the existence of an ENSO predictability barrier tied to the growth phase of El Nin˜o conditions is likely a robust result, independent of the particular model.
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  • Samelson, Roger M., Eli Tziperman, 2001: Instability of the Chaotic ENSO: The Growth-Phase Predictability Barrier. J. Atmos. Sci., 58, 3613–3625.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Sue Kunda(sue.kunda@oregonstate.edu) on 2011-12-19T18:41:57Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 SamelsonRogerM.CEOAS.InstabilityChaoticENSO.pdf: 237684 bytes, checksum: 91064a2465c4f31583fde0f9856c6dd4 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deborah Campbell (deborah.campbell@oregonstate.edu) on 2011-12-08T16:40:32Z No. of bitstreams: 1 SamelsonRogerM.CEOAS.InstabilityChaoticENSO.pdf: 237684 bytes, checksum: 91064a2465c4f31583fde0f9856c6dd4 (MD5)
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