A series of laboratory experiments in a thermally driven, rotating fluid annulus are presented that investigate the onset and characteristics of phase synchronization and frequency entrainment between the intrinsic, chaotic, oscillatory amplitude modulation of travelling baroclinic waves and a periodic modulation of the (axisymmetric) thermal boundary conditions, subject to timedependent coupling. The time-dependence is in the form of a prescribed duty cycle in which the periodic forcing of the boundary conditions is applied for only a fraction δ of each oscillation. For the rest of the oscillation, the boundary conditions are held fixed. Two profiles of forcing were investigated that capture different parts of the sinusoidal variation and δ was varied over the range 0:1 ≤ δ ≤ 1. Reducing δ was found to act in a similar way to a reduction in a constant coupling coefficient in reducing the width of the interval in forcing frequency or period over which complete synchronization was observed (the "Arnol'd tongue") with respect to the detuning, although for the strongest pulse-like forcing profile some degree of synchronization was discernible even at δ = 0:1. Complete phase synchronization was obtained within the Arnol'd tongue itself, although the strength of the amplitude modulation of the baroclinic wave was not significantly affected. These experiments demonstrate a possible mechanism for intraseasonal and/or interannual "teleconnections" within the climate system of the Earth and other planets that does not rely on Rossby wave propagation across the planet along great circles.
- NE/ F002157/1