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Title: ENSO Regime Changes Responsible for Decadal Phase Relationship Variations Between ENSO Sea Surface Temperature and Warm Water Volume

The relationship between the equatorial Pacific warm water volume (WWV) and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) sea surface temperature (SST) has varied considerably on decadal timescales. These changes are strongly related to the occurrence frequency of central Pacific (CP) ENSO events. While both eastern Pacific (EP) and CP ENSO events show clear signatures of WWV recharge/discharge, their phase‐lag relationships between WWV and Niño3.4 SST are different. The WWV usually leads the Niño3.4 SST by two to three seasons during EP ENSO, while the lead time is reduced to one season during CP ENSO. The different phase‐lag relationships can be explained by distinct periodicities of the two ENSO types. Hence, ENSO regime changes associated with decadal predominance of either EP or CP ENSO events can give rise to decadal variations in the statistical WWV‐ENSO SST relationship. We emphasize the importance of identifying these different ENSO types and potentially different ENSO regimes to assess ENSO predictability.

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Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 7546-7553
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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