skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: Decadal Change of Combination Mode Spatiotemporal Characteristics due to an ENSO Regime Shift
Abstract Previous studies have shown that nonlinear atmospheric interactions between ENSO and the warm pool annual cycle generates a combination mode (C-mode), which is responsible for the termination of strong El Niño events and the development of the anomalous anticyclone over the western North Pacific (WNP). However, the C-mode has experienced a remarkable decadal change in its characteristics around the early 2000s. The C-mode in both pre- and post-2000 exhibits its characteristic anomalous atmospheric circulation meridional asymmetry but with somewhat different spatial structures and time scales. During 1979–99, the C-mode pattern featured prominent westerly surface wind anomalies in the southeastern tropical Pacific and anticyclonic anomalies over the WNP. In contrast, the C-mode-associated westerly anomalies were shifted farther westward to the central Pacific and the WNP anticyclone was farther westward extended and weaker after 2000. These different C-mode patterns were accompanied by distinct climate impacts over the Indo-Pacific region. The decadal differences of the C-mode are tightly connected with the ENSO regime shift around 2000; that is, the occurrence of central Pacific (CP) El Niño events with quasi-biennial and decadal periodicities increased while the occurrence of eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño events with quasi-quadrennial periodicity decreased. The associated near-annual combination tone periodicities of the C-mode also changed in accordance with these changes in the dominant ENSO frequency between the two time periods. Numerical model experiments further confirm the impacts of the ENSO regime shift on the C-mode characteristics. These results have important implications for understanding the C-mode dynamics and improving predictions of its climate impacts.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1813611
NSF-PAR ID:
10184023
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Climate
Volume:
33
Issue:
12
ISSN:
0894-8755
Page Range / eLocation ID:
5239 to 5251
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Recent studies demonstrated the existence of a conspicuous atmospheric combination mode (C-mode) originating from nonlinear interactions between El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific warm pool annual cycle (AC). Here we find that the C-mode exhibits prominent decadal amplitude variations during the ENSO decaying boreal spring season. It is revealed that the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) can largely explain this waxing and waning in amplitude. A robust positive correlation between ENSO and the C-mode is detected during a negative AMO phase but not during a positive phase. Similar results can also be found in the relationship of ENSO with 1) the western North Pacific (WNP) anticyclone and 2) spring precipitation over southern China, both of which are closely associated with the C-mode. We suggest that ENSO property changes due to an AMO modulation play a crucial role in determining these decadal shifts. During a positive AMO phase, ENSO events are distinctly weaker than those in an AMO negative phase. In addition, El Niño events concurrent with a positive AMO phase tend to exhibit a westward-shifted sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly pattern. These SST characteristics during the positive AMO phase are both not conducive to the development of the meridionally asymmetric C-mode atmospheric circulation pattern and thus reduce the ENSO/C-mode correlation on decadal time scales. These observations can be realistically reproduced by a coupled general circulation model (CGCM) experiment in which North Atlantic SSTs are nudged to reproduce a 50-yr sinusoidally varying AMO evolution. Our conclusion carries important implications for understanding seasonally modulated ENSO dynamics and multiscale climate impacts over East Asia. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Cloud radiative feedbacks are disabled via “cloud-locking” in the Community Earth System Model, version 1.2 (CESM1.2), to result in a shift in El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) periodicity from 2–7 years to decadal time scales. We hypothesize that cloud radiative feedbacks may impact the periodicity in three ways: by 1) modulating heat flux locally into the equatorial Pacific subsurface through negative shortwave cloud feedback on sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA), 2) damping the persistence of subtropical southeast Pacific SSTA such that the South Pacific meridional mode impacts the duration of ENSO events, or 3) controlling the meridional width of off-equatorial westerly winds, which impacts the periodicity of ENSO by initiating longer Rossby waves. The result of cloud-locking in CESM1.2 contrasts that of another study, which found that cloud-locking in a different global climate model led to decreased ENSO magnitude across all time scales due to a lack of positive longwave feedback on the anomalous Walker circulation. CESM1.2 contains this positive longwave feedback on the anomalous Walker circulation, but either its influence on the surface is decoupled from ocean dynamics or the feedback is only active on interannual time scales. The roles of cloud radiative feedbacks in ENSO in other global climate models are additionally considered. In particular, it is shown that one cannot predict the role of cloud radiative feedbacks in ENSO through a multimodel diagnostic analysis. Instead, they must be directly altered. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Summer precipitation in Hawai'i accounts for 40% of the annual total and provides important water sources. However, our knowledge about its variability remains limited. Here we show that statewide Hawai'i summer rainfall (HSR) variability exhibits two distinct regimes: quasi‐biennial (QB, ~2 years) and interdecadal (~30–40 years). The QB variation is linked to alternating occurrences of the Western North Pacific (WNP) cyclone and anticyclone in successive years, which is modulated by the intrinsic El Niño–Southern Oscillation biennial variability and involves a positive feedback between atmospheric Rossby waves and underlying sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies. The interdecadal variation of HSR is largely modulated by the Pacific Decadal Oscillation through affecting upstream low‐level humidity that affects topographic rainfall. HSR shows weak long‐term drying trend during 1920–2019. This first description of the major physical drivers of summer rainfall variability provides key information for seasonal rainfall prediction in Hawai'i.

     
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    The longitudinal location of precipitation anomalies over the equatorial Pacific shows a distinctive feature with the westernmost location for La Niña, the easternmost location for eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño, and somewhere between for central Pacific (CP) El Niño, even though the center of the sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) for La Niña is located slightly east of that of CP El Niño. The mechanisms for such a precipitation diversity were investigated through idealized model simulations and moisture and moist static energy budget analyses. It is revealed that the boundary layer convergence anomalies associated with the precipitation diversity are mainly induced by underlying SSTA through the Lindzen–Nigam mechanism, that is, their longitudinal locations are mainly controlled by the meridional and zonal distributions of the ENSO SSTA. The westward shift of the precipitation anomaly center during La Niña relative to that during CP El Niño is primarily caused by the combined effects of nonlinear zonal moist enthalpy advection anomalies and the Lindzen–Nigam mechanism mentioned above. Such a zonal diversity is further enhanced by the “convection–cloud–longwave radiation” feedback, the SST-induced latent heat flux anomalies, and the advection of mean moist enthalpy by anomalous winds. This diversity in the longitudinal location of precipitation anomalies has contributions to the diversities in the longitudinal locations of anomalous Walker circulation and western North Pacific anomalous anticyclone/cyclone among the three types of ENSO.

     
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Studies have suggested that the South Atlantic Ocean plays an important role in modulating climate at global and regional scales and thus could serve as a potential predictor of extreme rainfall and temperature events globally. To understand how propagating modes of variability influence the circulation of the subtropical gyre and the southward flowing Brazil Current (BC) at interannual frequencies, a Complex Empirical Orthogonal Function (CEOF) analysis was performed on the satellite‐derived sea surface height (SSH). The first three CEOF modes explain about 23%, 16%, and 11% of the total interannual variability and show clear westward propagation with phase speeds comparable to that of theoretical baroclinic mode 1 Rossby waves. Results suggest that there is a change in the way energy is distributed among the modes before and after 2005. Before 2005, the SSH variability in the western boundary in the South Atlantic and the volume transport of the BC are more closely linked to the first and the second modes, while the third mode dominates after 2005. This change in energy distribution around 2005 is associated with the recent El Niño‐Southern Oscillation (ENSO) regime shift in the Pacific Ocean via atmospheric teleconnections. We found that the first CEOF mode is strongly correlated with eastern Pacific (i.e., canonical) ENSO events and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, whereas the third CEOF is correlated to central Pacific (i.e., Modoki) ENSO. These results are useful to understand the overall dynamics of the South Atlantic and to potentially improve predictability of Meridional Overturning Circulation and monsoon pattern changes around the world.

     
    more » « less