Modeling the ENSO impact of orbitally induced mean state climate changes.

Salau, Opeyemi, Schneider, Birgit, Park, Wonsun , Khon, Vyacheslav and Latif, Mojib (2012) Modeling the ENSO impact of orbitally induced mean state climate changes. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 117 (C5). DOI 10.1029/2011JC007742.

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The sensitivity of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon to changes in the tropical Pacific mean climate is investigated with a coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice general circulation model (AOGCM), the Kiel Climate Model (KCM). Different mean climate states are generated by changing the orbital forcing that causes a redistribution of solar energy, which was a major driver of both the Holocene and the Eemian climates. We find that the ENSO amplitude is positively correlated with both the Equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) and the equatorial zonal SST contrast. The latter is controlled by the upwelling-induced damping of the SST changes in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific (EEP), and by the vertical ocean dynamical heating and zonal heat transport convergence in the Western Equatorial Pacific. The ENSO amplitude also correlates positively with the seasonal SST amplitude in the EEP and negatively with the strength of the easterly Trades over the Equatorial Pacific. However, the ENSO period is rather stable and stays within 3–4 years. Enhanced ENSO amplitude is simulated during the late-Holocene, in agreement with paleoproxy records. The tight positive correlation (r = 0.89) between the ENSO strength and the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP) SST suggests that the latter may provide an indirect measure of the ENSO amplitude from proxy data that cannot explicitly resolve interannual variability.
Key Points:
- ENSO amplitude enhances as mean SST & west-east SST gradient rise in tropical Pacific
- The broad range frequency peaks at periods of 3-4 years over Holocene and Eemian
- The Pacific's warm pool SST is a suitable indicator to monitor ENSO variability

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000306005100008
Keywords: Meteorology; Climatology; ENSO; Climate change
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R09
Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > SFB 754
OceanRep > SFB 754 > A1
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-ME Maritime Meteorology
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union)
Projects: SFB754, Future Ocean, KCM
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2012 12:43
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 17:50

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