Benguela Niños and Benguela Niñas in Forced Ocean Simulation From 1958 to 2015.

Imbol Koungue, Rodrigue Anicet , Rouault, Mathieu , Illig, Serena , Brandt, Peter and Jouanno, Julien (2019) Benguela Niños and Benguela Niñas in Forced Ocean Simulation From 1958 to 2015. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124 (8). pp. 5923-5951. DOI 10.1029/2019JC015013.

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A systematic study of Benguela Nino and Benguela Nina events during 1958 to 2015 including those that developed before the satellite era (1982) is carried out using an ocean general circulation model in combination with a linear equatorial model. Altogether, 21 strong warm and cold anomalous coastal events are identified among which 6 undocumented extreme coastal events are reported. Results suggest that most of these extreme coastal events including the newly identified ones are linked to remote equatorial forcing via mode 2 equatorial Kelvin waves. The latter propagates after approaching the African coast poleward as coastally trapped waves leading surface temperature anomalies along the Angola-Benguela current system by one month. One to two months before the peak of Benguela Ninos or Ninas usually occurring in March-April, a large-scale wind stress forcing is observed with both local (variations of alongshore coastal wind stress) and remote forcing developing simultaneously. Results further suggest that surface temperature anomalies off Southern Angola and in the Angola-Benguela Front are associated with equatorial dynamics and meridional wind stress fluctuations off the southwestern African coast north of 15 degrees S. Similar mechanisms are observed for Northern Namibia in combination with forcing by local meridional wind stress variations.

Plain Language Summary The Benguela upwelling system located in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean supports a large marine ecosystem due to upwelling conditions. Every few years, anomalous warm and cold coastal events occur in the southeastern Atlantic and are detrimental for Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, as they affect fisheries and rainfall like El Nino phenomenon in the Pacific. To study these coastal events from 1958 to 2015, we use the output from a tropical Atlantic simulation in combination with the solution of a simple linear equatorial model. We study the anomalous coastal events including the ones that occurred before the satellite era (before 1982) and examine the role of the local wind forcing and the remote forcing associated with equatorial variability. We describe so far undocumented extreme events occurring from 1958 to 2015. Results suggest that most of the extreme coastal warm and cold events are associated with the propagation of equatorial Kelvin waves along the equatorial waveguide which trigger poleward-propagating coastal trapped waves along the southwestern African coast. One to two months before the peak season (usually March-April) of the anomalous coastal events, a large-scale wind pattern is observed, encompassing both variations of alongshore coastal wind in the southeastern Atlantic and zonal wind along the equatorial Atlantic.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/H2020/817578 ; info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/603521
Keywords: Benguela Niños; Benguela Niñas; equatorial Kelvin waves; upwelling; South Atlantic anticyclone
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2019JC015013
ISSN: 2169-9275
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2019 12:27
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2020 00:38

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