Publication Abstracts

Geller et al. 2016

Geller, M.A., T. Zhou, and W. Yuan, 2016: The QBO, gravity waves forced by tropical convection, and ENSO. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, no. 15, 8886-8895, doi:10.1002/2015JD024125.

By means of theory, a simplified cartoon illustrating wave forcing of the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO), and general circulation modeling of the QBO, it is argued that the period of the QBO is mainly controlled by the magnitude of the gravity wave (GW) vertical fluxes of horizontal momentum (GWMF) forcing the QBO, while the QBO amplitude is mainly determined by the phase speeds of the GWs that make up this momentum flux. It is furthermore argued that it is the zonally averaged GWMF that principally determines the QBO period irrespective of the longitudinal distribution of this GW momentum flux. These concepts are used to develop a hypothesis for the cause of a previously reported El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) modulation of QBO periods and amplitudes. Some observational evidence is reported for the ENSO modulation of QBO amplitudes to have been different before the 1980s than after about 1990. A hypothesis is also given to explain this in terms of the different ENSO modulation of tropical deep convection that took place before the 1980s from that which occurred after about 1990. The observational evidence, while consistent with our hypotheses, does not prove that our hypotheses are correct given the small number of El Niños and La Niñas that occurred in the early and later periods. Further research is needed to support or refute our hypotheses.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Geller, M. A. and Zhou, T. and Yuan, W.},
  title={The QBO, gravity waves forced by tropical convection, and ENSO},
  journal={J. Geophys. Res. Atmos.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - ge03200x
AU  - Geller, M. A.
AU  - Zhou, T.
AU  - Yuan, W.
PY  - 2016
TI  - The QBO, gravity waves forced by tropical convection, and ENSO
JA  - J. Geophys. Res. Atmos.
VL  - 121
IS  - 15
SP  - 8886
EP  - 8895
DO  - 10.1002/2015JD024125
ER  -

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