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  1. Abstract Coastal zones are fragile and complex dynamical systems that are increasingly under threat from the combined effects of anthropogenic pressure and climate change. Using global satellite derived shoreline positions from 1993 to 2019 and a variety of reanalysis products, here we show that shorelines are under the influence of three main drivers: sea-level, ocean waves and river discharge. While sea level directly affects coastal mobility, waves affect both erosion/accretion and total water levels, and rivers affect coastal sediment budgets and salinity-induced water levels. By deriving a conceptual global model that accounts for the influence of dominant modes of climate variability on these drivers, we show that interannual shoreline changes are largely driven by different ENSO regimes and their complex inter-basin teleconnections. Our results provide a new framework for understanding and predicting climate-induced coastal hazards. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 16, 2024
  3. As the dominant form of mesoscale variability in the equatorial eastern Pacific, Tropical Instability Waves (TIWs) are known to interact with the El Niño and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in complex ways. TIWs activity is modulated by the ENSO state and also provide significant feedback on ENSO via nonlinear dynamic heating (NDH), acting as a source of asymmetry between the El Niño and La Niña phases. In this work, we show that the interannual variability of TIWs-induced heat flux and NDH can be approximately expressed in terms of the mean meridional temperature gradient as TIWs tend to transport heat downgradient of the temperature anomalies along the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) front. The TIWs-induced NDH can be quantified as an asymmetric negative feedback on ENSO by a nonlinear thermal eddy diffusivity which depends on the background TIWs pattern and the ENSO-related linear and nonlinear processes. This proposed parameterization scheme can capture well the direct ENSO modulation on TIWs activity, the combination effect arising from the nonlinear interaction between ENSO and the cold tongue annual cycle, and associated ENSO nonlinearity. This parameterization scheme is effectively tested using four ocean reanalysis datasets with different horizontal resolutions that exhibit contrasted patterns of TIWs activity. This scheme may be useful for assessing the TIWs-induced feedback on ENSO in mechanistic ENSO models to better understand the dynamics of ENSO complexity. 
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  4. Wind-generated waves are dominant drivers of coastal dynamics and vulnerability, which have considerable impacts on littoral ecosystems and socioeconomic activities. It is therefore paramount to improve coastal hazards predictions through the better understanding of connections between wave activity and climate variability. In the Pacific, the dominant climate mode is El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which has known a renaissance of scientific interest leading to great theoretical advances in the past decade. Yet studies on ENSO’s coastal impacts still rely on the oversimplified picture of the canonical dipole across the Pacific. Here, we consider the full ENSO variety to delineate its essential teleconnection pathways to tropical and extratropical storminess. These robust seasonally modulated relationships allow us to develop a mathematical model of coastal wave modulation essentially driven by ENSO’s complex temporal and spatial behavior. Accounting for this nonlinear climate control on Pan-Pacific wave activity leads to a much better characterization of waves’ seasonal to interannual variability (+25% in explained variance) and intensity of extremes (+60% for strong ENSO events), therefore paving the way for significantly more accurate forecasts than formerly possible with the previous baseline understanding of ENSO’s influence on coastal hazards.

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  5. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Although the 1997/98 and 2015/16 El Niño events are considered to be the strongest on record, their subsequent La Niña events exhibited contrasted evolutions. In this study, we demonstrate that the extremely strong period of Tropical Instability Waves (TIWs) at the beginning of boreal summer of 2016 played an important role in hindering the subsequent La Niña’s development by transporting extra off-equatorial heat into the Pacific cold tongue. By comparing the TIWs contribution based on an oceanic mixed-layer heat budget analysis for the 1998 and 2016 episodes, we establish that TIW-induced nonlinear dynamical heating (NDH) is a significant contributor to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase transition in 2016. TIW-induced NDH contributed to around 0.4°C per month warming during the early boreal summer (May-June) following the 2015/16 El Niño’s peak, which is found to be an essential inhibiting factor that prevented the subsequent La Niña’s growth. A time-mean eddy kinetic energy analysis reveals that anomalous TIWs during 2016 mainly gained their energy from the baroclinic instability conversion due to a strong SST warming in the northeastern off-equatorial Pacific that promoted an increased meridional SST gradient. This highlights the importance of accurately reproducing TIW activity in ENSO simulation and the benefit of off-equatorial SST anomalies in the eastern Pacific as an independent precursor for ENSO predictions. 
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  6. Abstract

    Tropical instability waves (TIWs), the dominant form of eddy variability in the tropics, have a peak period at about 5 weeks and are strongly modulated by both the seasonal cycle and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). In this study, we first demonstrated that TIW‐induced nonlinear dynamical heating (NDH) is basically proportional to the TIW amplitude depicted by a complex index for TIW. We further delineated that this NDH, capturing the seasonally modulated nonlinear feedback of TIW activity onto ENSO, is well approximated by a theoretical formulation derived analytically from a simple linear stochastic model for the TIW index. The results of this study may be useful for the climate community to evaluate and understand the TIW‐ENSO multiscale interaction.

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