Uncovering the origin of a key weather pattern in the global tropics

SOEST Atmospheric Sciences professor Bin Wang is working to improve the understanding of a globally important atmospheric system, named the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). This system has a profound impact on the weather in the tropics, and can even have significant impacts on extreme storm events including those witnessed in the US. While the MJO is a well-documented phenomenon, its origin is still yet to be understood on a scientific level. Wang and his team are building upon existing theories on how it operates, and how to best simulate it in different geographical conditions.

The weather produced by the MJO impacts the tropics as well as the middle latitudes beyond the tropics. It can even have an impact on the magnitude of monsoons and flooding, which can lead to catastrophic results. Researchers such as Wang who are creating increasingly reliable prediction tools, are aiding hazard risk assessment and preparation in countries affected by the MJO.

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