On the connection between Benguela and equatorial Atlantic Ninos and the role of the South Atlantic Anticyclone.

Lübbecke, Joke F. , Böning, Claus W. , Keenlyside, Noel and Xie, Shang-Ping (2010) On the connection between Benguela and equatorial Atlantic Ninos and the role of the South Atlantic Anticyclone. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 (C9). C09015. DOI 10.1029/2009JC005964.

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Abstract

For the eastern tropical Atlantic two recurring El Niño-like phenomena with high interannual SST anomalies have been described, one centered in the equatorial region as part of the Atlantic zonal mode and one off Angola referred to as Benguela Niño. Both events are supposed to be generated not locally but by a relaxation of the trade winds in the western equatorial Atlantic. Here the connection between SST variations in the two regions is investigated with observational data sets as well as ocean model simulations. They are correlated to such an extent that joint events should rather be viewed as one Atlantic Niño. An intriguing feature, counterintuitive in view of the remote forcing mechanism, is that SST anomalies off Angola precede those in the equatorial Atlantic. We show this behavior to be related to the difference in thermocline depths and a different seasonality of interannual SST variability in the two regions. While Benguela Niños peak in austral fall due to the Angola Benguela Front being located furthest to the south and high interannual variability in coastal Kelvin wave activity, warm events at the equator are phase-locked to austral winter when the thermocline is shallow. Perturbation experiments confirm the importance of remote forcing from the equator for SST variability off Angola and demonstrate the leading role of wind stress in the generation of SST anomalies in the eastern tropical Atlantic. These wind stress variations are shown to be linked to fluctuations in the strength of the South Atlantic Anticyclone, a connection that might be important with respect to the predictability of Atlantic Niños.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Meteorology; El Nino; South Atlantic Anticyclone; Benguela Niño; predictibility
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 754
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-ME Maritime Meteorology
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > SFB 754 > A2
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2009JC005964
ISSN: 0148-0227
Projects: SFB754, Future Ocean
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2010 10:21
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 21:29
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/9205

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