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Global warming and rainfall oscillation in the 5–10 yr band in Western Europe and Eastern North America


  • Jean-Louis Pinault



From joint wavelet analysis of long-wavelength baroclinic Rossby waves and SST anomalies in the 5–10 yr band in the North and tropical Atlantic, and Reduced Rainfall Height (RRH) in Western Europe and Eastern North America, some key mechanisms involved in the interannual rainfall variability are highlighted. Systematic work has been undertaken to highlight the resonance of long planetary waves in the tropical oceans. Quasi-stationary Waves (QSWs) are produced resulting from the combination of gravitational forces and trade wind stress or ENSO events to compensate for energy lost in the resonator and, above all, to produce a strong modulated output current at the open end, contributing to the western boundary currents. Gravitational forces are resulting from the topography of the surface of the ocean at the antinodes, the dimension of the basin and the wavelength of planetary waves involved in the resonance being of the same order of magnitude. Remote resonances occur at critical latitudes, nearly 40°N and 40°S, forming QSWs the role of which is crucial in the functioning of sub-tropical gyres. In the North Atlantic subtropical gyre, an 8-yr period QSW appears to have a decisive role in the interannual rainfall variability. The pattern of SST anomalies depends on buoyancy of the advected layer associated with this QSW, which is controlled by the amplitude and the phase of long-period sub-harmonics. Rainfall oscillation in Western Europe has occurred for some decades and extended as the dipole formed by SST anomalies on both antinodes became unbalanced, due to the emergence of the advected layer further north. Since then cyclonic or anticyclonic conditions are prevailing at midlatitudes, depending on the polarity. Strengthening of RRH anomalies in Eastern North America is attributed to the buoyancy of the advected layer that re-circulates along the sub-tropical gyre, which evidences the excitation of long-period sub-harmonics, too. Frequency of exceptional events increased in areas heavily exposed to RRH anomalies, subject to oceanic influences even during extreme events, as this occurs in the north of France. Changes in rainfall patterns is attributed to global warming, i.e. the resonance of long-period sub-harmonics associated with solar magnetic cycles whose amplitude has increased drastically at the end of the second millennium, not including the possible contribution of greenhouse gas emissions whose impact on climate is non-resonant. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Louis Pinault, 2012. "Global warming and rainfall oscillation in the 5–10 yr band in Western Europe and Eastern North America," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 621-650, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:114:y:2012:i:3:p:621-650
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0432-6

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