Interannual variation of global atmospheric angular momentum

Chen Tsing-Chang Chen, J. J. Tribbia, Yen Ming-Cheng Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The relative atmospheric angular momentum (RAM) integrated over the globe is an explicit variable representing the state of the atmospheric general circulation. After removing the annual, semiannual, and higher-frequency components, the filtered global RAM time series for the past 14 years (1979-92) is highly correlated with both the Southern Oscillation index and the tropical Pacific sea surface temperature averaged over Area NINO-3 (5°S-5°N, 150°W-90°W). The interannual variation of global RAM is coherent with the poleward propagation of RAM anomalies. The global RAM anomalies reach their minimum values when westerly anomalies emerge in the Tropics and higher latitudes during a cold El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event. On the other hand, global RAM anomalies attain their maximum values when westerly anomalies arrive at the subtropics of both hemispheres during a warm ENSO event. It is demonstrated that the poleward propagation of RAM anomalies results from the flip-flop oscillation of the anomalous circulation between cold and warm ENSO events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2852-2857
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1996


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