Previous work has shown that the Madden‐Julian Oscillation (MJO) can influence the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) via a Rossby wave teleconnection that propagates through the troposphere (i.e., a tropospheric pathway). In addition, recent work suggests that the MJO can influence the stratospheric polar vortex, which is also known to influence the tropospheric NAO—thus, there likely exists a stratospheric pathway for MJO influence as well. Here, we apply two methods to shed more light on the pathways linking the MJO to the NAO. First, we use a traditional approach in climate science based on analyzing conditional probabilities. Second, we use methods from causal discovery theory based on probabilistic graphical models. Together, these two analysis approaches reveal that the MJO can impact the NAO via both a tropospheric and stratospheric pathway. The stratospheric pathway is shown to come about in two ways: First, both methods show that the MJO itself influences the strength of the stratospheric polar vortex on a timescale of ∼10 days, and then 5 days later the vortex can drive changes in the NAO. Second, the state of the stratospheric polar vortex acts to condition the NAO to be conducive (or not) to MJO influence. When the vortex is in a state that opposes the expected NAO response to the MJO, we find little influence of the MJO on the NAO, however, when the vortex supports the expected NAO response, the NAO is up to 30% more likely to be in a particular state following active MJO periods.
While the Madden‐Julian oscillation (MJO) is known to influence the midlatitude circulation and its predictability on subseasonal‐to‐seasonal timescales, little is known how this connection may change with anthropogenic warming. This study investigates changes in the causal pathways between the MJO and the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) within historical and SSP585 simulations of the Community Earth System Model 2‐Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (CESM2‐WACCM) coupled climate model. Two data‐driven approaches are employed, namely, the STRIPES index and graphical causal models. These approaches collectively indicate that the MJO's influence on the North Atlantic strengthens in the future, consistent with an extended jet‐stream. In addition, the graphical causal models allow us to distinguish the causal pathways associated with the teleconnections. While both a stratospheric and tropospheric pathway connect the MJO to the North Atlantic in CESM2‐WACCM, the strengthening of the MJO‐NAO causal connection over the 21st century is shown to be due exclusively to teleconnections via the tropospheric pathway.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Geophysical Research Letters
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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