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- Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
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Abstract. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is known to modulate the strength and frequency of stratosphere-to-troposphere transport (STT) of ozone over the Pacific–North American region during late winter to early summer. Dynamical processes that have been proposed to account for this variability include variations in the amount of ozone in the lowermoststratosphere that is available for STT and tropospheric circulation-relatedvariations in the frequency and geographic distribution of individual STTevents. Here we use a large ensemble of Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model(WACCM) simulations (forced by sea-surface temperature (SST) boundaryconditions consistent with each phase of ENSO) to show that variability inlower-stratospheric ozone and shifts in the Pacific tropospheric jetconstructively contribute to the amount of STT of ozone in the NorthAmerican region during both ENSO phases. In terms of stratosphericvariability, ENSO drives ozone anomalies resembling the Pacific–NorthAmerican teleconnection pattern that span much of the lower stratospherebelow 50 hPa. These ozone anomalies, which dominate over other ENSO-drivenchanges in the Brewer–Dobson circulation (including changes due to both thestratospheric residual circulation and quasi-isentropic mixing), stronglymodulate the amount of ozone available for STT transport. As a result,during late winter (February–March), the stratospheric ozone response to theteleconnections constructively reinforces anomalous ENSO-jet-driven STT ofozone. However, as ENSO forcing weakens asmore »
The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a major source of interannual climate variability. ENSO life cycles and the associated teleconnections evolve over multiple years at a global scale. This analysis is the first attempt to characterize the structure of the risk posed by trans-Pacific ENSO teleconnections to crop production in the greater Pacific Basin region. In this analysis we identify the large-scale atmospheric dynamics of ENSO teleconnections that affect heat and moisture stress during the growing seasons of maize, wheat and soy. We propose a coherent framework for understanding how trans-Pacific ENSO teleconnections pose a correlated risk to crop yields in major agricultural belts of the Americas, Australia and China over the course of an ENSO life cycle by using observations and a multi-model ensemble of climate anomalies during crop flowering seasons. Trans-Pacific ENSO teleconnections are often (but not always) offsetting between major producing regions in the Americas and those in northern China or Australia. El Niños tend to create good maize and soybean growing conditions in the US and southeast South America, but poor growing conditions in northern China, southern Mexico and the Cerrado in Brazil. The opposite is true during La Niña. Wheat growing conditions in southeastmore »
Combined Influences on North American Winter Air Temperature Variability from North Pacific Blocking and the North Atlantic Oscillation: Subseasonal and Interannual Time ScalesAbstract Winter surface air temperature (SAT) over North America exhibits pronounced variability on subseasonal, interannual, decadal, and interdecadal time scales. Here, reanalysis data from 1950–2017 are analyzed to investigate the atmospheric and surface ocean conditions associated with its subseasonal to interannual variability. Detrended daily SAT data reveal a known warm west/cold east (WWCE) dipole over midlatitude North America and a cold north/warm south (CNWS) dipole over eastern North America. It is found that while the North Pacific blocking (PB) is important for the WWCE and CNWS dipoles, they also depend on the phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). When a negative-phase NAO (NAO − ) coincides with PB, the WWCE dipole is enhanced (compared with the PB alone case) and it also leads to a warm north/cold south dipole anomaly in eastern North America; but when PB occurs with a positive-phase NAO (NAO + ), the WWCE dipole weakens and the CNWS dipole is enhanced. The PB events concurrent with the NAO − (NAO + ) and SAT WWCE (CNWS) dipole are favored by the Pacific El Niño–like (La Niña–like) sea surface temperature mode and the positive (negative) North Pacific mode. The PB-NAO + has a larger component projectingmore »
In this study, we investigate whether the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) can enhance or diminish El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) temperature and precipitation teleconnections over North America using five single model initial-condition large ensembles (SMILEs). The use of SMILEs facilitates a statistically robust comparison of ENSO events that occur during different phases of the PDO. We find that a positive PDO enhances winter and spring El Niño temperature and precipitation teleconnections and diminishes La Niña teleconnections. A negative PDO has the opposite effect. The modulation of ENSO by the PDO is mediated by differences in the location and strength of the Aleutian Low and Pacific Jet during ENSO events under different phases of the PDO. This modulation is a simple combination of the individual effects of the PDO and ENSO over North America. Finally, we show that ENSO and the PDO can be used to evaluate the likelihood of the occurrence of temperature and precipitation anomalies in different regions, but cannot be used as a deterministic predictor of these anomalies due to the large variability between individual events.
Impact of ENSO‐Like Tropical Pacific Decadal Variability on the Relative Frequency of El Niño and La Niña Events
Observational and modeling studies show that the relative frequency of El Niño and La Niña varies in association with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO)‐like tropical Pacific decadal variability (TPDV), but the causality of the linkage remains unclear. This study presents evidence that ENSO‐like TPDV affects the frequency of ENSO events, particularly of El Niño, through a set of climate model experiments. During the positive phase of TPDV, tropical Pacific warming relative to the Indian and Atlantic Oceans increases the occurrence of anomalous westerly winds over the western equatorial Pacific in late boreal winter‐spring, triggering more El Niño and fewer La Niña events. The opposite happens for the negative TPDV phase. The La Niña frequency is also influenced by oceanic adjustments following El Niño, which tends to counteract the effect of wind changes. The mean state control of ENSO offers a potential opportunity for decadal predictions of climate extremes.