Objective Diagnostics and the Madden–Julian Oscillation: Application to Moist Static Energy and Moisture Budgets.

  • 2 November 2015
  • Number of views: 1803
Objective Diagnostics and the Madden–Julian Oscillation: Application to Moist Static Energy and Moisture Budgets.

Process understanding of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) has increased dramatically over the past decade, but many observed features of the MJO are not well explained by physical mechanisms believed to underlie the phenomenon. New CVP-supported research published in the Journal of Climate examines Moist Static Energy (MSE) and moisture budgets to understand MJO moisture variations.

In their paper, "Objective Diagnostics and the Madden–Julian Oscillation. Part II: Application to Moist Static Energy and Moisture Budgets," authors Wolding and Maloney assessed the geographic variability of anomalous column moisture and MSE budgets for MJO to better interpret mechanisms causing these variations. They find that during the enhanced phase of the MJO, "approximately 85 percent  of the moisture removed by net condensation is resupplied by the large-scale vertical moisture advection associated with apparent heating by microphysical processes and subgrid-scale vertical fluxes of dry static energy."

They concluded that a small anomalous moisture source could likely support the relatively large increase in net condensation even absent radiative feedbacks. Additional process studies are needed to continue to understand MJO moisture variability.

To access the full paper, visit: http://dx.doi.org./10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00689.1




Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.


Climate Program Office
1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910