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Title: Modulation of ENSO teleconnections over North America by the Pacific decadal oscillation

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.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Environmental Research Letters
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 114005
IOP Publishing
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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