Effect of boundary layer latent heating on MJO simulations

Jian Ling, Chongyin Li, Wen Zhou, Xiaolong Jia, Chidong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A latent heating peak in the PBL was detected in a simulation by a global GCM that failed to reproduce Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). The latent heating peak in the PBL was generated by very shallow convection, which prevented moisture from being transported to the free troposphere. Large amount of moisture was therefore confined to the PBL, leading to a dry bias in the free atmosphere. Suffering from this dry bias, deep convection became lethargic, and MJO signals failed to occur. When the latent heating peak in the PBL was removed in another simulation, reasonable MJO signals, including the eastward propagation and the structure of its large-scale circulation, appeared. We therefore propose that the excessive latent heating peak in the PBL due to hyperactive shallow convection may be a reason for a lack of MJO signals in some simulations by other GCMs as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-115
Number of pages15
JournalAdvances in Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO)
  • latent heating
  • planetary boundary layer (PBL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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