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The relationship between El Niño and the western North Pacific summer climate in a coupled GCM: role of the transition of El Niño decaying phases

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Chen, W., Park, J.-K., Dong, B., Lu, R. and Jung, W.-S. (2012) The relationship between El Niño and the western North Pacific summer climate in a coupled GCM: role of the transition of El Niño decaying phases. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117 (D12111). ISSN 0148-0227

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2011JD017385

Abstract/Summary

This study investigates the impacts of the transition of El Niño decaying phases on the western North Pacific anticyclone (WNPAC) anomalies in the subsequent summer with a coupled GCM. The modeling results suggest that the El Niños with short decaying phases lead to significant WNPAC anomalies in the following summer, which are contributed to mainly by the El Niños followed by La Niñas, in comparison with those not followed by La Niñas. In contrast, the long decaying cases are associated with the disappearance of WNPAC anomalies in the summer. These differences in the WNP circulation anomalies can be explained by the different configurations of simultaneous SSTs in the Indian Ocean and in the central and eastern tropical Pacific: positive SSTs in the former region and negative ones in the latter region constructively induce significant WNPAC anomalies for the short decaying cases, while the roles of positive SSTs in both regions for the long decaying cases work destructively and lead to weak WNP circulation anomalies. Further analysis indicates that the different lengths of El Niño decaying phases are predicted by the strength of Indian Ocean SSTs in the mature winter. The warmer wintertime Indian Ocean SSTs favor the anomalous easterly wind over the western and central equatorial Pacific in the subsequent summer, leading to a short decaying of El Niño. Thus, the strength of wintertime Indian Ocean SSTs is one of the important factors that affect the length of El Niño decaying phase and resultant WNPAC anomalies in the following summer.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:29292
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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