Jupiter Quasi-Quadrennial Oscillation
Climate patterns on Jupiter can have striking similarities to those on Earth, making the gas giant a natural laboratory for understanding planetary atmospheres. Complete transcript available.
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When scientists look at Jupiter's upper atmosphere in infrared light, they see the region above the equator heating and cooling over a roughly four-year cycle. They dub this Jovian climate pattern the "quasi-quadrennial oscillation," or QQO, and it has a little sibling on Earth – a two-year temperature cycle accompanied by a reversal of the equatorial jet stream. Earth's cycle can influence the transport of aerosols and ozone and can affect the formation of hurricanes, making it an active area of climate research. Now, scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have developed a new model for understanding Jupiter's QQO, which could lead to a refined understanding of Earth's own climate.
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