AbstractThe Southern Ocean (SO) is the region of the World Ocean bordering on Antarctica over which significant exchanges between the atmosphere, the ocean, and the sea ice take place. Here, the strong and nearly unhindered eastward flow of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current plays an important role in mean global climate as it transmits climate anomalies around the hemisphere. Features of interannual variability have been observed to propagate eastward around the SO with the circumpolar flow in the form of a system of coupled anomalies, known as the Antarctic circumpolar wave (ACW). In the present study, the 142-yr series of the Twentieth Century Reanalysis, version 2, dataset (850-hPa geopotential height, sea level pressure, sea surface temperature, surface meridional wind, and surface air temperature) spanning from 1871 to 2012 is used to investigate the presence and variability of ACWs. This examination shows, for the first time, the presence of the ACW before the mid-1950s and interdecadal changes in its characteristics. Modifications in the strength and speed of the circumpolar wave are shown to be linked with large-scale climate changes. Complex empirical orthogonal function analyses confirm that the ACW becomes apparent when the tropical El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) signal gives rise to the Pacific–South American (PSA) pattern and is a consequence of the constructive combination of the PSA and the subantarctic zonal wavenumber 3. Correlation analyses are also performed to quantify the role played by ENSO teleconnections for the appearance of the ACW, and the impact on the presence of ACWs of three super–El Niño events is investigated.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Aug 31, 2017
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