Cyclic spectral analysis of fluctuations in a GCM simulation Academic Article uri icon


  • Due to the variety of periodic or quasi-periodic deterministic forcings (e.g., diurnal cycle, seasonal cycle, Milankovitch cycles, etc.), most climate fluctuations may be modeled as cyclostationary processes since their properties are modulated by these cycles. Difficulties in using conventional spectral analysis to explore the seasonal variation of climate fluctuations have indicated the need for some new statistical techniques. It is suggested here that the cyclic spectral analysis be used for interpreting such fluctuations. The technique is adapted from cyclostationarity theory in signal processing. To demonstrate the usefulness of this technique, a very simple cyclostationary stochastic climate model is constructed. The results show that the seasonal cycle strongly modulates the amplitude of the covariance and spectrum. The seasonal variation of intraseasonal oscillations in the Tropics has also been studied on a zonally symmetric all-land planet in the absence of external forcing. The idealized planet has no ocean, no topography. A 15-year length seasonal run of the atmosphere is analyzed with the NCAR Community Climate Model (CCM2, R15). Analysis of the simulation data indicates the presence of intraseasonal oscillations in the Tropics, which are also localized in the time of year. Both examples suggest that these techniques might be useful for analysis of fluctuations that exhibit locality in both frequency and season. 1996 American Meteorological Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Huang, J. P., & North, G. R.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Huang, JP||North, GR

publication date

  • February 1996