Over thirty years of Indo-Pacific climate research inspired by Gene Rasmusson

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 9:45 AM
122BC (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Gerald Meehl, NCAR, Boulder, CO

The seminal papers by Gene Rasmusson in the early 1980s (Rasmusson and Carpenter, 1982, 1983) defined ENSO events in the Pacific and connected them to interannual variability of the Indian monsoon. This important work provided the motivation for the formulation of the dynamic and mechanistic framework of the Tropospheric Biennial Oscillation (TBO) that encompasses interannual variability of ENSO, the Asian-Australian monsoon, and what later became known as the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). The evolution from Gene's work to the TBO is reviewed here, and recent results on decadal variability of the TBO is presented to document why the TBO is not perfectly biennial. The important role of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) is developed in the context of how decadal variability can modulate and affect interannual variability in the Indo-Pacific region. Decadal climate prediction with initialized climate models is shown to have some skill in predicting the IPO and Indo-Pacific climate.