Nonlinear effects in coupled atmosphere-ocean basin modes

Y. Wakata, E. S. Sarachik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The nonlinearity in the thermodynamic equation for sea surface temperature arises mainly from the dependence of subsurface temperature on the thermocline depth anomaly in the parameterization of entrainment into the mixed layer. This nonlinearity ultimately suppresses the linear growth of the unstable mode and equilibrates it at a finite amplitude. Because this nonlinearity acts differently for warm and cold states, the warm states are enhanced at finite amplitude. It is found that multiple equilibrium states appear as the coupling coefficient increases and as the reflection coefficient of the oceanic Rossby mode at the western boundary decreases. The finite-amplitude warm equilibrium state turns out to be stable, but the finite-amplitude cold state is unstable. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-920
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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