Sulian Thual

Welcome to my homepage

I am a researcher focusing on ocean-atmosphere dynamics, climate and applied mathematics problems. I am particularly interested in large-scale tropical variability including phenomena such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) and the El Niño Southern-Oscillation (ENSO). I try to understand complex climate systems by designing and testing simpler dynamical, stochastic and/or statistical models that bridge physical intuition, rigorous mathematical theory and agreement with observations. My work involves for example dealing with geophysical fluid dynamics theory, statistics and stochastics, numerical modeling and programming, as well as analyzing large datasets from operational model outputs and observations.

Research Interests

Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Tropical Variability

Stochastic Dynamical and Statistical Models

Madden-Julian Oscillation

El Niño-Southern Oscillation

Data Assimilation

Education and Employment

Simple Models for Understanding ENSO Modulation and Mechanisms. link

  • 2009: M.S., Major Ocean-Atmosphere Continental Surfaces, Météo-France/University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France

  • 2009: Engineering Degree, Major Fluid Mechanics., ENSEEIHT, Toulouse, France

Referenced Book Chapters

  1. Guilyardi, E., Capotondi, A., Lengaigne, M., Thual, S., Wittenberg, A., 2020: “ENSO modelling: History, Progress and Challenges”. El Niño Southern Oscillation in a Changing Climate. AGU monograph. link

  2. Chen, N., Thual, S., and Stuecker, M. F., 2019: El Niño and the Southern Oscillation: Theory. Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, Elsevier. link

  3. Chen, N., Thual, S., and Hu, S., 2019: El Niño and the Southern Oscillation: Observation. Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, Elsevier. link

  4. Majda, A.J, Stechmann, S.N., Chen, S., Ogrosky, R., Thual, S., 2019: A Stochastic Skeleton Model for the MJO. In "Tropical Intraseasonal Variability and the Stochastic Skeleton Method", Mathematics of Planet Earth, Springer. link

  5. Majda, A.J, Stechmann, S.N., Chen, S., Ogrosky, R., Thual, S., 2019: Refined Vertical Structure in the Stochastic Skeleton Model for the MJO. In "Tropical Intraseasonal Variability and the Stochastic Skeleton Method", Mathematics of Planet Earth, Springer. link

Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications

  1. Thual, S., A. J. Majda, and N. Chen, 2019: Statistical occurrence and mechanisms of the 2014–2016 delayed super El Niño captured by a simple dynamical model, Clim. Dyn., doi: 10.1007/s00382-018-4265-5, link

  2. Thual, S., Majda, A.J. and Chen, N., 2018: A Tropical Stochastic Skeleton Model for the MJO, El Niño and Dynamic Walker Circulation: A Simplified GCM. J. Climate, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0263.1, link

  3. Morel, Y., Thual, S., Delcroix, T. and Hall, N., 2018: A theoretical model to analyze the Central to Eastern Pacific El Nino continuum, Ocean Modelling, doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2018.07.006, link

  4. N. Chen, A. J. Majda, and S. Thual, 2017: Observations and Mechanisms of a Simple Stochastic Dynamical Model Capturing El Niño Diversity, J. Climate, 31, 449–471, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0880.1, link

  5. S. Thual, A. J. Majda, and N.Chen, 2017: Seasonal Synchronization of a Simple Stochastic Dynamical Model Capturing El Niño Diversity, J.Climate, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0174.1, link

  6. Thual, S., A. J. Majda, N. Chen and S. N. Stechmann, 2016: A Simple Stochastic Model for El Niño with Westerly Wind Bursts, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 113, 10245-10250, doi:10.1073/pnas.1612002113, link.

  7. Stachnik, J. P., D. E. Waliser, A. J. Majda, S. N. Stechmann, and S. Thual, 2015: Evaluating MJO initiation and decay in the skeleton model using an RMM-like index. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 120, 486-508, doi:10.1002/2015JD023916, link

  8. Thual, S., and A. J. Majda, 2015: A suite of skeleton models for the MJO with refined vertical structure, Mathematics of Climate and Weather Forecasting, 1, 70-95, doi: 10.1515/mcwf-2015-0004, link

  9. Thual, S., and A. J. Majda, 2015: A skeleton model for the MJO with refined vertical structure, Clim. Dyn, DOI 10.1007/s00382-015-2731-x, link talk

  10. Thual, S., N. Ayoub, and B. Dewitte, 2015: Impact of Sea Level Assimilation on ENSO Initialization and Prediction: the Role of the Sea Level Zonal Tilt and Zonal Mean, Mon. Weather Rev., 143, 1895-1906, link

  11. Thual, S., A. J. Majda, and S. N. Stechmann, 2014: Asymmetric Intraseasonal events in the stochastic skeleton MJO model with seasonal cycle, Clim. Dyn, DOI 10.1007/s00382-014-2256-8, link

  12. Thual, S., A. J. Majda, and S. N. Stechmann, 2014: A Stochastic Skeleton Model for the MJO, J. Atmos. Sci., 71, 697-715. link talk

  13. Thual, S., B. Dewitte, N. Ayoub, and O. Thual, 2013: An Asymptotic Expansion for the Recharge-Discharge Model of ENSO, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 43, 1407–1416. link

  14. Thual, S., B. Dewitte, S.-I. An, S. Illig, and N. Ayoub, 2013: Influence of Recent Stratification Changes on ENSO stability in a Conceptual Model of the Equatorial Pacific, J. Climate, 26, 4790–4802. link

  15. Thual, S., O. Thual, and B. Dewitte, 2012: Absolute or Convective instability in the equatorial Pacific and implications for ENSO, Q.J.R.Meteorol.Soc, 138: 000–000. DOI:10.1002/qj.1988. link

  16. Dewitte, B., S.-W. Yeh, and S. Thual, 2012: Reinterpreting the thermocline feedback in the western-central equatorial Pacific and its relationship with the ENSO modulation, Clim. Dynamics, DOI 10.1007/s00382-012-1504-z. link

  17. Thual S., B. Dewitte, S.-I. An and N. Ayoub, 2011: Sensitivity of ENSO to stratification in a recharge-discharge conceptual model. J. Climate, 4, 4331-4348. link

  18. Dewitte, B., J. Choi, S.-I. An, and S. Thual, 2011: Vertical structure variability and equatorial waves during central Pacific and eastern Pacific El Niños in a coupled general circulation model, Clim. Dynamics, DOI 10.1007/s00382-011-1215-x. link

  19. Dewitte B., S. Thual, S.-W. Yeh, S.-I. An, B.-K. Moon and B. Giese, 2009: Low frequency variability of temperature in the vicinity of the equatorial thermocline in SODA: Role of equatorial wave dynamics and ENSO asymmetry. J. Climate, 22, 5783-5795. link

Other Publications

  1. Thual, S., and Mosquera, K., 2018: Estudio teórico sobre la relación entre El Niño y la Oscilación Madden-Julian. Boletín Técnico “Generación de información y monitoreo del Fenómeno El Niño” del IGP, 5 (10),5-9, link