AbstractThe El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in a 1300-year preindustrial control simulation of the Community Climate System Model version 4 (CCSM4) exhibits distinct modulation in association with tropical Pacific decadal variability (TPDV). The frequency and duration of El Niño events modulate with changes in the interbasin sea surface temperature (SST) gradient related to the leading mode of TPDV, which resembles the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO). La Niña shows similar changes with the IPO but is also controlled by changes in El Niño that often precedes La Niña and these effects tend to cancel each other. The amplitude of ENSO, on the other hand, is closely related to the second leading mode of TPDV that affects the zonal and meridional contrast of tropical Pacific climate. Significant changes in the pattern and seasonal evolution related to this TPDV mode are found mainly for El Niño due to the nonlinear relation between the atmospheric deep convection and SSTs. The resultant changes in the amplitude of El Niño, in turn, affect the amplitude and duration of the following La Niña, as well as the asymmetry in their patterns and duration. The decadal ENSO modulation associated with both TPDV modes are not symmetrical between El Niño and La Niña and thus is not likely to occur solely due to random variability. The patterns of TPDV in CCSM4 have resemblance to those simulated by its atmospheric component coupled to a slab ocean model, suggesting that TPDV induced by stochastic atmospheric variability interacts with the ENSO dynamics.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 28, 2017
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