Irene Polo

Irene Polo

Profesor Ayudante Doctor

I am a postdoctoral researcher studying the processes associated with the ocean-atmosphere interactions and their impact on climate variability. The representation of those processes in models has implications in the predictability of the climate impacts. Climate variability shows a vast range of time-scales (from inter-decadal Thermo-Haline-driven circulation to intra-seasonal weather regimes), understanding the air-sea interactions at different time-scales is important for future predictions. My research comprises climate variability at different scales, from ocean processes with impacts at decadal time-scales, throughout ocean-atmosphere interactions and tele-connections at inter-annual time-scales to weather regimes and their impacts on rainfall.
I am interested in the ocean-atmosphere interactions, upper ocean processes, variability and adjustment in the Atlantic Ocean circulation, Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and Tropical Atlantic Variability (TAV). I am currently working in PREFACE (EU-UCM) and RAMOC (NERC-University of Reading) projects.
PREFACE project aims to understand model biases over the Tropical Atlantic, in that context I analyse TAV and biases in CMIP5 models and in seasonal forecast systems.
RAMOC project aims to improve ocean states estimates using data assimilation of RAPID data at 26N, in this context I analyse density covariances with AMOC at 26N and their associated forcings and timescales.
Research Highlights
(1) Polo et al (2008) analysed the tropical variability modes related to West African Monsoon. The Atlantic Niño was the leading mode of the ITCZ-shifts at inter-annual time-scales and it was also associated with ENSO. Deeper analysis of this inter-basin relationship revealed for the first time how equatorial Atlantic was able to impact the ENSO. This has been described in a series of publications in which I am co-author (Rodriguez-Fonseca et al., 2009; Losada et al., 2009; Polo et al., 2013a; Polo et al., 2015; Martin-Rey et al., 2014; Martin-Rey et al., 2015). From partially coupled simulations, the warming over equatorial Atlantic was able to impact on the walker circulation on tropical Pacific. Anomalous subsidence and divergent winds triggers a Kelvin wave eastward propagating which allows increasing the horizontal and vertical advection due to anomalous zonal velocity and stratification respectively, driven an El Niño event. The inter-basin tele-connection was showed to be modulated at multi-decadal time-scales, mostly due to the AMO, by changing the convection background over west equatorial Atlantic and ENSO variability. From water hosing experiments, changes in the AMOC have shown to have an impact on tropical variability and the Atlantic-Pacific connection.
(2) Analysis of the mechanisms associated with the geostrophic part of the AMOC in a series of ocean simulations have revealed the processes related to wind and buoyancy forcing have different time-scales, which has a potential impact on predictability (Polo et al., 2014). Currently I am contributing in understanding density variability at the boundaries and the decadal prediction of the North Atlantic subpolar gyre.
(3) A series of papers on weather regimes over the North Atlantic European and Mediterranean region has shown that extra-tropics are associated with African rainfall being the Mediterranean Sea an intermediate driver (Polo et al. 2011; Polo et al., 2013b; Garcia-Serrano et al., 2013a). Decadal predictability has been assessed for West African rainfall and Atlantic Niño (Garcia-Serrano et al., 2013b; 2013c).

  • Marta Martín Rey, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Irene Polo, and Fred Kucharski 2013 Published

    The Atlantic-Pacific connection: A multidecadal variability mode
    Oral presentation in Tropical Atlantic Variability (TAV)-PIRATA Meeting, Venice (Italy), October from 21 to 24, 2013
  • Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Elsa Mohino, C. Roberto Mechoso, C. Caminade, M. Biasutti, M. Gaetani, J.Garcia Serrano, E. K.Vizy, K. Cook, Y. Xue, Irene Polo, Teresa Losada, L. Druyan, B. Fontaine, J. Bader, F. J.Doblas Reyes, L. Goddard, S. Janicot, A. Arribas, W. Lau, A. Colman, D. P. Rowell, F. Kucharski, and A.Voldoire 2014 Published

    Variability and Predictability of West African Droughts. The role of SST.

    Journal of Climate, 28, 4034–4060

  • Jorge López Parages, Julián Villamayor, Iñigo Gómara, Teresa Losada, Marta Martín Rey, Elsa Mohino, Irene Polo, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, and Roberto Suárez 2013 Published

    Nonstationary interannual teleconnections modulated by multidecadal variability

    Física de la Tierra: Climate variability and teleconnections in West Africa and the Mediterranean. 25, pp. 11 - 39. PUBLICACIONES UNIVERSIDAD COMPLUTENSE DE MADRID, 2013. ISSN0214-4557

  • Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Serge Janicot, Elsa Mohino, Teresa Losada, Juergen Bader, Cyril Caminade, Fabrice Chauvin, Bernard Fontaine, Javier García Serrano, Sebastien Gervois, Mathieu Joly, Irene Polo, Paolo Ruti, Pascal Roucou, and Aurore Voldoire 2011 Published

    Interannual and decadal SST-forced responses of the West African monsoon

    Atmospheric Science Letters, Vol. 12, pp. 67-74. DOI: 10.1002/ASL.308

  • Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Irene Polo, Javier García Serrano, Teresa Losada, Elsa Mohino, Carlos R. Mechoso, and Fred Kucharski 2009 Published

    Are Atlantic Niños enhancing Pacific ENSO events in recent decades?

    Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, L20705. DOI 10.1029/2009GL040048.

  • Javier García Serrano, Irene Polo, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, and Teresa Losada 2013 Published

    Large-scale atmospheric response to eastern Mediterranean summer-autumn SST anomalies and the associated regional impact.

    Climate Dynamics, Vol 41 - 9-10, pp. 2251 - 2265. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-013-1940-4

  • Teresa Losada, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Irene Polo, Serge Janicot, Sebastien Gervois, Fabrice Chauvin, and Paolo M. Ruti 2010 Published

    Tropical response to the Atlantic Equatorial mode: AGCM multimodel approach.

    Climate Dynamics, Vol. 35, pp. 45-52. DOI 10.1007/s00382-009-0624-6.

  • Irene Polo, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Teresa Losada, and Javier García Serrano 2008 Published

    Tropical Atlantic Variability modes (1979-2001). Part I: time-evolving SST modes related to West African rainfall.

    Journal of Climate, Vol.21, pp. 6457-6475. DOI: 10.1175/2008JCLI2607.1.

  • Javier García Serrano, Teresa Losada, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, and Irene Polo 2008 Published

    Tropical Atlantic Variability modes (1979-2001). Part II: time-evolving atmospheric circulation related to SST-forced tropical convection.

    Journal of Climate, Vol. 21, pp. 6476-6497. DOI: 10.1175/2008JCLI2191.1

  • Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Irene Polo, Javier García Serrano, Teresa Losada, and Elsa Mohino 2009 Published

    The Equatorial Mode. A new regional and global perspective from the 70’s.

    Revista Física de la Tierra, 21,179-189, Servicio de publicaciones Universidad Complutense de Madrid. ISSN: 0214-4557.

  • Teresa Losada, Elsa Mohino, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, and Irene Polo 2008 Published

    Influence of the tropical oceanic basins on the African monsoon.

    Porceedings de la 6ª asamblea hispano-portuguesa de geodesia y geofísica, pp. 163-164.

  • Javier García Serrano, Teresa Losada, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, and Irene Polo 2008 Published

    Time-evolution atmospheric response to tropical convection over Euro-Atlantic sector.

    Porceedings de la 6ª asamblea hispano-portuguesa de geodesia y geofísica, pp. 122-124.

  • Javier García Serrano, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Irene Polo, and Teresa Losada 2007 Published

    Evolución mensual de la respuesta atmosférica interanual al Niño Atlántico.

    Proceedings del 8º encontro luso-espanhol de meteorología de la APMG, pp. 79-84. ISBN: 978-989-95660-0-2

  • Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Teresa Losada, Javier García, and Irene Polo 2005 Published

    Simulations of the 2000 and 2003 african monsoon seasons with the UCLA AGCM.

    Proceedings of the 1st AMMA International Conference, pp. 318-320.

  • Irene Polo, Teresa Losada, and Belén Rodríguez Fonseca 2004 Published

    La variabilidad del Atlántico tropical y su teleconexión extra-tropical.

    Revista Física de la Tierra, Vol. 16, pp. 37-47, Servicio de publicaciones Universidad Complutense de Madrid. ISSN: 0214-4557.

  • Irene Polo, Albin Ullman, Bernard Fontaine, Teresa Losada, and Pascal Roucou 2013 Published

    Changes in the frequency of the Weather Regimes over the Euro-Atlantic and Mediterranean sector and their relation to the anomalous temperatures over the Mediterranean Seaísica de la Tierra, 25, 103-121. DOI: 

  • Irene Polo, Marta Martín Rey, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Fred Kucharski, and Carlos Roberto Mechoso 2015 Published

    Processes in the Pacific La Niña onset triggered by the Atlantic Niño

    Climate /Dynamics, 44, 115-131. DOI 10.1007/s00382-014-2354-7

  • Irene Polo, Alban Lazar, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, and Juliette Mignot 2015 Published

    Growth and decay of the equatorial Atlantic SST mode by means of closed heat budget in a coupled general circulation model

    Front. Earth Sci. 3:37. doi: 10.3389/feart.2015.00037

  • Irene Polo, Jon Robson, Rowan Sutton, and Magdalena Balmaseda 2014 Published

    The importance of wind and buoyancy forcing for boundary density variations and the geostrophic component of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation at 26N

    Journal of Physical Oceanography,

  • Irene Polo, Buwen Dong, and Rowan Sutton 2013 Published

    Changes in tropical Atlantic interannual variability from a substantial weakening of the meridional overturning circulation

    Climate Dynamics, 41, 2765–2784. doi: 10.1007/s00382-013-1716-x

  • Irene Polo, Albin Ullmann, Pascal Roucou, and Bernard Fontaine 2011 Published

    Weather Regimes in the Euro-Atlantic and Mediterranean sector and relationship with West African rainfall over the period 1989-2008 from a Self-Organizing Maps Approach

    Journal of Climate, doi:10.1175/2011JCLI3622.1.

  • Irene Polo, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, and Julio Sheinbaum 2005 Published

    Northwest Africa upwelling and the Atlantic climate variability

    Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2005GL023883

  • Marta Martín Rey, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, and Irene Polo 2015 Published

    Atlantic opportunities for ENSO prediction

  • Fred Kucharski, Afroja Parvin, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Riccardo Farneti, Marta Martín Rey, Irene Polo, Elsa Mohino, Teresa Losada, and Carlos R. Mechoso 2016 Published

    The Teleconnection of the Tropical Atlantic to Indo-Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures on Inter-Annual to Centennial Time Scales: A Review of Recent Findings

  • Marta Martín Rey, Irene Polo, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Teresa Losada, and Alban Lazar 2018 Published

    Is there evidence of changes in Tropical Atlantic Variability modes under AMO phases in the observational record?

    Journal of Climate, 31, 515-536.

  • Joke Lubbecke, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Ingo Richter, Marta Martín‐rey, Teresa Losada, Irene Polo, and Noel S Keenlyside 2018 Published

    Equatorial Atlantic variability—Modes, mechanisms, and global teleconnections

    Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 9, e527

  • Elsa Mohino, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Carlos Roberto Mechoso, Teresa Losada, and Irene Polo 2019 Published

    Relationships among Intermodel Spread and Biases in Tropical Atlantic Sea Surface Temperatures

  • Gregory R Foltz, Peter Brandt, Ingo Richter, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Fabrice Hernandez, Marcus Dengler, Regina R Rodrigues, Jörn Oliver Schmidt, Lisan Yu, Nathalie Lefevre, L Cotrim Da Cunha, Michael James Mc Phaden, M Araujo, Johannes Karstensen, Johannes Hahn, Marta Martín Rey, Christina M Patricola, Paul Poli, Paquita Zuidema, Rebecca Hummels, Renellys C Perez, Vanessa Hatje, Joke F Lübbecke, Irene Polo, Rick Lumpkin, Bernard Bourlès, Francis E Asuquo, Patrick Lehodey, Anna Conchon, Ping Chang, Philippe Dandin, Claudia Schmid, A Sutton, Herve Giordani, Yan Xue, Serena Illig, Teresa Losada, Sa Grodsky, Florent Gasparin, Tong Lee, Elsa Mohino, Paulo Nobre, Rik Wanninkhof, N Keenlyside, Veronique Garcon, Emilia Sanchez Gomez, Hyacinth Nnamchi, Marie Drevillon, Andrea Storto, Elisabeth Remy, Alban Lazar, Sabrina Speich, M Goes, Tarquin Dorrington, William E Johns, James N Moum, Carol Robinson, Coralie Perruche, Rb De Souza, At Gaye, Jorge López Parages, P A Monerie, Paola Castellanos, Nsikak U Benson, Mahouton Norbert Hounkonnou, J Trotte Duhá, R Laxenaire, and N Reul 2019 Published

    The tropical atlantic observing system

    Frontiers in Marine Science

  • Marta Martín‐rey, Irene Polo, Belén Rodríguez Fonseca, Alban Lazar, and Teresa Losada 2019 Published

    Ocean dynamics shapes the structure and timing of Atlantic Equatorial Modes

    Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans