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R/V Revelle, by Brett Longworth
Photo by Brett Longworth
Contact: Chris Fairall

ESRL participates in DYNAMO experiment to better understand global climate

August 23, 2011

Earth System Research Laboratory researchers are in Darwin, Australia preparing to deploy instrumentation for the upcoming research experiment called Dynamics of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (DYNAMO), which will take place in the equatorial Indian Ocean. DYNAMO is the U.S. contribution to a larger international effort named the 'Cooperative Indian Ocean Experiment on Intraseasonal Variability in Year 2011, or CINDY 2011. During the five legs of the cruise, from 1 September 2011 through 5 January 2012, ERSL personnel will take observations aboard the R/V Roger Revelle using the PSD stabilized W-band Doppler cloud radar and PSD air-sea flux system, as well as the Chemical Sciences Division's scanning Doppler lidar. ESRL is collaborating with scientists from Oregon State University, University of Connecticut, and Columbia University on the measurement program.

The Indian Ocean is one of the earth's most sensitive regions where ocean and atmosphere interact to affect the global climate. These interactions send impulses out over much of the globe via the phenomenon called MJO. Oceanographers and atmospheric scientists from more than 10 countries will be observing the development of the MJO at its source. NOAA is one of the lead U.S. agencies participating in DYNAMO, primarily through deployment of instruments on the R/V Roger Revelle (ESRL) and the NOAA P-3 aircraft (National Severe Storms Laboratory). NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) will use DYNAMO observations to spearhead efforts to improve NOAA's MJO forecasts; CPC is also providing operational forecast support for the entire project.

As the global climate changes, it becomes more urgent to understand how the oceans and atmosphere work together to regulate the earth's temperature and to respond to its long-term variation. The study of climate aims at quantifying the degree of global temperature changes and their consequences, such as sea-level rise, with increasing detail. This information can be used by national/local governments and society to plan mitigation and adaptation strategies. Such quantitative information requires detailed knowledge of the structures and evolution of the atmosphere and ocean in the tropics.