loading page

Underestimated MJO variability in CMIP6 models
  • +1
  • Phong Vu Viet Le,
  • Clement Guilloteau,
  • Antonios Mamalakis,
  • Efi Foufoula-Georgiou
Phong Vu Viet Le
University of California, Irvine

Corresponding Author:levuvietphong@gmail.com

Author Profile
Clement Guilloteau
UC Irvine
Author Profile
Antonios Mamalakis
University of California Irvine
Author Profile
Efi Foufoula-Georgiou
University of California, Irvine
Author Profile


The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is the leading mode of intra-seasonal climate variability, having profound impacts on a range of weather and climate phenomena. Here, we use a wavelet-based spectral Principal Component Analysis (wsPCA) to evaluate the skill of 20 state-of-the-art CMIP6 models in capturing the magnitude and dynamics of the MJO. The advantages of wsPCA are its ability to focus on desired frequencies and capture each propagative physical mode with one principal component (PC). We show that the MJO contribution to the total intra-seasonal climate variability is substantially underestimated in most CMIP6 models. The joint distribution of the modulus and angular frequency of the complex wavelet PC series associated with MJO is used to rank models relatively to the observations through the Wasserstein distance. Using Hovmöller phase-longitude diagrams, we show that precipitation variability associated with MJO is underestimated in most CMIP6 models for the Amazonia, Southwest Africa, and Maritime Continent.