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The role of variability in the Tropical and South Atlantic in the climate of the Northeast of Brazil in El Niño years

Grant number: 07/03279-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2007
Effective date (End): September 30, 2010
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography - Physical Oceanography
Principal researcher:Edmo José Dias Campos
Grantee:Regina Rodrigues Rodrigues
Home Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The goal of this proposal is to investigate the role of the Tropical and South Atlantic variability on the rainfall in the Northeast (NE) Brazil to increase the potential for its predictability. NE Brazil rainfall is associated with the position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which in turn is strongly linked to the meridional gradient of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the Tropical Atlantic. It is also well known that years of severe droughts tend to be preceded by anomalously warm equatorial Pacific waters (El Niño years), suggesting that the Pacific SST anomalies are also important in determining the NE Brazil rainfall. However, the precipitation in NE Brazil is not always below the average during El Niño years. Our premise is that the response of the NE Brazil rainfall to El Niño is determined by the preconditioning of the South Atlantic and South Tropical Atlantic SST anomalies, which in turn may or not be caused by El Niño telecommunications. Using both data and a coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation model (Speedy-MICOM), we propose to investigate the mechanisms that causes SST anomalies in the South and Tropical Atlantic during El Niño years. We expect then to answer the following questions: 1) what is the predictability of the NE Brazil rainfall having a good El Niño forecast; 2) which variables of the Tropical and South Atlantic ocean should we know in order to make such prediction. The proposal work will be developed as part of an ongoing collaborative effort between IOUSP and KNMI, which has been supported by FAPESP since 2001 (Procs: 2001/10965-6, 2004/01850-9, 2005/04315-0, and 2006/03949-8). (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
RODRIGUES, REGINA R.; HAARSMA, REINDERT J.; CAMPOS, EDMO J. D.; AMBRIZZI, TERCIO. The Impacts of Inter-El Nino Variability on the Tropical Atlantic and Northeast Brazil Climate. Journal of Climate, v. 24, n. 13, p. 3402-3422, JUL 2011. Web of Science Citations: 48.

Please report errors in scientific publications list by writing to: cdi@fapesp.br.