A role for ocean biota in tropical intraseasonal atmospheric variability

Hezi Gildor*, Adam H. Sobel, Mark A. Cane, Raymond N. Sambrotto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We propose that temporal variations within the marine plankton system can induce intraseasonal variations in sea surface temperature (SST) through the effect on solar penetration due to chlorophyll and other optically active organic components. Sensitivity studies with a simple model suggest that these small oscillations in SST may stimulate radiative-convective oscillations in the atmosphere which amplify them and thus induce or modulate significant variability in the coupled system. Long term bio-optical measurements in the Western Pacific, where satellite time series are degraded by clouds, would provide a test of our theory and would improve our understanding of the heat balance in this climatically important region.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)13-1 - 13-4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2003
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'A role for ocean biota in tropical intraseasonal atmospheric variability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this