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Title: Hysteresis of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation to CO2 forcing
El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the strongest interannual climate variability with far-reaching socioeconomic consequences. Many studies have investigated ENSO-projected changes under future greenhouse warming, but its responses to plausible mitigation behaviors remain unknown. We show that ENSO sea surface temperature (SST) variability and associated global teleconnection patterns exhibit strong hysteretic responses to carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction based on the 28-member ensemble simulations of the CESM1.2 model under an idealized CO2 ramp-up and ramp-down scenario. There is a substantial increase in the ensemble-averaged eastern Pacific SST anomaly variance during the ramp-down period compared to the ramp-up period. Such ENSO hysteresis is mainly attributed to the hysteretic response of the tropical Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone meridional position to CO2 removal and is further supported by several selected single-member Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) model simulations. The presence of ENSO hysteresis leads to its amplified and prolonged impact in a warming climate, depending on the details of future mitigation pathways.  more » « less
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Publisher / Repository:
American Association for the Advancement of Science
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Journal Name:
Science Advances
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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