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Estimating Subseasonal Variability and Trends in Global Atmosphere Using Reanalysis Data

N Žagar, D Jelić, M J Alexander, E Manzini
Geophysical Research Letters 2018 December 16, 45 (23): 12999-13007
A new measure of subseasonal variability is introduced that provides a scale-dependent estimation of vertically and meridionally integrated atmospheric variability in terms of the normal modes of linearized primitive equations. Applied to the ERA-Interim data, the new measure shows that subseasonal variability decreases for larger zonal wave numbers. Most of variability is due to balanced (Rossby mode) dynamics but the portion associated with the inertio-gravity (IG) modes increases as the scale reduces. Time series of globally integrated variability anomalies in ERA-Interim show an increase in variability after year 2000. In recent years the anomalies have been about 2% above the 1981-2010 average. The relative increase in variability projecting on the IG modes is larger and more persistent than for the Rossby modes. Although the IG part is a small component of the subseasonal variability, it is an important effect likely reflecting the observed increase in the tropical precipitation variability.


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