This paper studies the critical time span and the approximate nonlinear action structure of climatic atmosphere and ocean. The critical time span of the climatic atmosphere and ocean, which is related to the spatial resolution required, the strength of nonlinear action, and the calculation exactness, may represent the relative temporal scale of predictability. As far as the same characteristic spatial scale is concerned, the minimum critical time span of the ocean is about 9 times of that of atmosphere, several days or more. Usually, the stronger the nonlinear action, the shorter the critical time span with smooth changes of external forces. The approximate structure of nonlinear action of climatic atmosphere and ocean is: the nonlinear action decreases usually with increasing latitude, which is related to the role of the Coriolis force in fluid motion (forming geostrophic current); the nonlinear action changes with the anomalous cyclonic or anticyclonic circulation shear, for instance, when the strength of anomalous eastward zonal circulation is comparable to that of anomalous meridional circulation, the nonlinear action is the strongest; wind stress plus gradient forces enhance the nonlinear action, etc..
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