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On the connection between the 1984 Atlantic warm event and the 1982-1983 ENSO

Delecluse, P., Servain, J., Levy, C., Arpe, K. and Bengtsson, L. (1994) On the connection between the 1984 Atlantic warm event and the 1982-1983 ENSO. Tellus Series A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 46 (4). pp. 448-464. ISSN 0280-6495

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1034/j.1600-0870.1994.t01-1-00009.x


The warm event which spread in the tropical Atlantic during Spring-Summer 1984 is assumed to be partially initiated by atmospheric disturbances, themselves related to the major 1982–1983 El-Niño which occurred 1 year earlier in the Pacific. This paper tests such an hypothesis. For that purpose, an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) is forced by different conditions of climatic and observed sea surface temperature and an Atlantic ocean general circulation model (OGCM) is subsequently forced by the outputs of the AGCM. It is firstly shown that both the AGCM and the OGCM correctly behave when globally observed SST are used: the strengthening of the trades over the tropical Atlantic during 1983 and their subsequent weakening at the beginning of 1984 are well captured by the AGCM, and so is the Spring 1984 deepening of the thermocline in the eastern equatorial Atlantic, simulated by the OGCM. As assumed, the SST anomalies located in the El-Niño Pacific area are partly responsible for wind signal anomaly in the tropical Atlantic. Though this remotely forced atmospheric signal has a small amplitude, it can generate, in the OGCM run, an anomalous sub-surface signal leading to a flattening of the thermocline in the equatorial Atlantic. This forced oceanic experiment cannot explain the amplitude and phase of the observed sub-surface oceanic anomaly: part of the Atlantic ocean response, due to local interaction between ocean and atmosphere, requires a coupled approach. Nevertheless this experiment showed that anomalous conditions in the Pacific during 82–83 created favorable conditions for anomaly development in the Atlantic.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:31683

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