Climate Dynamics

, Volume 35, Issue 7–8, pp 1149–1168 | Cite as

Ocean temperature and salinity components of the Madden–Julian oscillation observed by Argo floats

  • Adrian J. Matthews
  • Patama Singhruck
  • Karen J. Heywood


New diagnostics of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) cycle in ocean temperature and, for the first time, salinity are presented. The MJO composites are based on 4 years of gridded Argo float data from 2003 to 2006, and extend from the surface to 1,400 m depth in the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans. The MJO surface salinity anomalies are consistent with precipitation minus evaporation fluxes in the Indian Ocean, and with anomalous zonal advection in the Pacific. The Argo sea surface temperature and thermocline depth anomalies are consistent with previous studies using other data sets. The near-surface density changes due to salinity are comparable to, and partially offset, those due to temperature, emphasising the importance of including salinity as well as temperature changes in mixed-layer modelling of tropical intraseasonal processes. The MJO-forced equatorial Kelvin wave that propagates along the thermocline in the Pacific extends down into the deep ocean, to at least 1,400 m. Coherent, statistically significant, MJO temperature and salinity anomalies are also present in the deep Indian Ocean.


Intraseasonal oscillation MJO Equatorial Kelvin wave Argo Salinity 



These data were collected and made freely available by the International Argo Project and the national programs that contribute to it ( and Argo is a pilot program of the Global Ocean Observing System. The interpolated OLR, NCEP Reanalysis, and NOAA interpolated sea surface temperature data were provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their web site at The TAO buoy data were provided by the TAO Project Office of NOAA/PMEL from their web site at The Wheeler and Hendon MJO index data were provided by Matt Wheeler, from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website at PS studentship was partially funded by the Thai government. We thank two anonymous reviewers whose comments helped to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian J. Matthews
    • 1
    • 2
  • Patama Singhruck
    • 1
    • 3
  • Karen J. Heywood
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  2. 2.School of MathematicsUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  3. 3.Department of Marine ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

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