On Sub-ENSO Variability.

Keenlyside, Noel, Latif, Mojib and Dürkop, Anke (2007) On Sub-ENSO Variability. Open Access Journal of Climate, 20 (14). pp. 3452-3469. DOI 10.1175/JCLI4199.1.

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Multichannel singular spectrum analysis (MSSA) of surface zonal wind, sea surface temperature (SST), 20° isotherm depth, and surface zonal current observations (between 1990 and 2004) identifies three coupled ocean–atmosphere modes of variability in the tropical Pacific: the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the annual cycle, and a mode with a 14–18-month period, which is referred to as sub-ENSO in this study. The sub-ENSO mode accounts for the near 18-month (near annual) variability prior to (following) the 1997/98 El Niño event. It was strongest during this El Niño event, with SST anomalies exceeding 1°C. Sub-ENSO peak SST anomalies are ENSO-like in structure and are associated with eastward propagating heat content variations. However, the SST anomalies are preceded by and in near quadrature with relatively strong remotely forced westward propagating zonal current variations, suggesting the sub-ENSO mode arises from the zonal-advective feedback.

The sub-ENSO mode is found to exist also in an intermediate complexity model (ICM) of the tropical Pacific. A heat budget analysis of the model’s sub-ENSO mode shows it indeed arises from the zonal-advective feedback. In the model, both ENSO and sub-ENSO modes coexist, but there is a weak nonlinear interaction between them. Experiments also show that the observed changes in sub-ENSO’s characteristics may be explained by changes in the relative importance of zonal and vertical advection SST tendencies.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Climatology; ENSO; Sea Surface Temperature
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-ME Maritime Meteorology
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1175/JCLI4199.1
ISSN: 0894-8755
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:51
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2017 12:26
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/2211

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