Modeling interannual variability of the Amazon hydroclimate

D. Medvigy, Robert L. Walko, R. Avissar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) strongly influences the interannual variability of Amazon hydroclimate. But current global climate models are unable to represent the associated variability, raising the question of their aptitude to simulate current and changing climate in that region. We explore this critical issue with the Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Model (OLAM), a new Earth System Model (ESM) capable of simulating regions like mountain ranges at high resolution while efficiently simulating the rest of the world at coarser resolution. We find that simulations representing the Andes at resolutions coarser than 100 km lead. to a 'reverse' ENSO effect, with large precipitation rates in the Amazon during ENSO events. In contrast, the model correctly simulates the ENSO dry anomaly provided the Andes are simulated at resolutions finer than 100 km. Furthermore, we find that the grid mesh over the Andes has important implications for ENSO teleconnections, especially over the continents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL15817
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 16 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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