Why is the QBO important?

After making a breakthrough on modeling the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation of atmospheric winds (QBO) and simultaneously debunking the fearsome AGW skeptic Richard Lindzen‘s original theory for QBO, it might be wise to take a step back and note the potential significance of having a highly predictive model.

From this QBO site

Why the QBO is important?

  1. The phase of the QBO affects hurricanes in the Atlantic and is widely used as a prognostic in hurricane forecasts.
    Increased hurricane activity occurs for westerly (or positive) zonal wind anomalies; reduced hurricane activity for easterly or negative zonal wind anomalies.
  2. The QBO along with sea surface temperatures and El Niño Southern Oscillation are thought to affect the monsoon.
  3. Tropical cyclone frequency in the northwest Pacific increases during the westerly phase of the QBO. Activity in the southwest Indian basin, however, increases with the easterly phase of the QBO.
  4. Major winter stratospheric warmings preferentially occur during the easterly phase of the QBO, Holton and Tan (1980).
  5. Predictions of ENSO use the expected wind anomalies at 30mb and 50mb to forecast the strength and timing of the event.
  6. The QBO is thought to affect the Sahel rainfall pattern and is used in forecasts for the region.
  7. The decay of aerosol loading following volcanic eruptions such as El Chichon and Pinatubo depends on the phase of the QBO.

And that site does not even list the connection between QBO and El Nino that has been observed [1], and definitely by my own eyes as well, and not to forget Eureqa’s machine learning eyes.

That last bit is intriguing, a I am still making progress on ENSO modeling, with this QBO effort providing a foundation for lots of ideas on how to go forward. The connection between QBO, lunar forcing, and ENSO is much too compelling to think otherwise. As far as AGW, I will continue to report on what I can discover from models of the data. This is important when you realize that Lindzen had over 50 years to contribute to the field, and essentially left with the sad fact of contributing nothing, and perhaps even stalling progress in the field of atmospheric sciences for a generation.

[1] Liess, Stefan, and Marvin A. Geller. “On the relationship between QBO and distribution of tropical deep convection.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012) 117.D3 (2012).

2 thoughts on “Why is the QBO important?

  1. Pingback: Project Loon and QBO | context/Earth

  2. Pingback: QBO Model Sensitivity | context/Earth

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