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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 18, 2023
  2. Abstract El Niño events exhibit rich diversity in their spatial patterns, which can lead to distinct global impacts. Therefore, how El Niño pattern diversity will change in a warmer climate is one of the most critical issues for future climate projections. Based on the sixth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project simulations, we report an inter-model consensus on future El Niño diversity changes. Central Pacific (CP) El Niño events are projected to occur more frequently compared to eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño events. Concurrently, EP El Niño events are projected to increase in amplitude, leading to higher chances of extreme EP El Niño occurrences. We suggest that enhanced upper-ocean stability due to greenhouse warming can lead to a stronger surface-layer response for increasing positive feedbacks, more favorable excitation of CP El Niño. Whereas, enhanced nonlinear atmospheric responses to EP sea surface temperatures can lead to a higher probability of extreme EP El Niño.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  3. Oceanic eddies accompanied by a significant vertical velocity ( w ) are known to be of great importance for the vertical transport of various climatically, biologically or biogeochemically relevant properties. Using quasi-geostrophic w -thinking to extend the classic “ β -spiral” w -theory for gyre circulations to isolated and nearly symmetric oceanic mesoscale eddies, we propose that their w motion will be dominated by a strong east-west dipole pattern with deep ocean penetrations. Contrasting numerical simulations of idealized isolated eddies together with w -equation diagnostics confirm that the w -dipole is indeed dominated by the “eddy β -spiral” mechanism in the β -plane simulation, whereas this w -dipole expectedly disappears in the f -plane simulation. Analyses of relatively isolated warm and cold eddy examples show good agreement with the proposed mechanism. Our studies further clarify eddy vertical motions, have implications for ocean mixing and vertical transport, and inspire further studies.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 21, 2023
  4. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, manifested by the great swings of large-scale sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies over the equatorial central to eastern Pacific oceans, is a major source of interannual global shifts in climate patterns and weather activities. ENSO’s SST anomalies exhibit remarkable spatiotemporal pattern diversity (STPD), with their spatial pattern diversity dominated by Central Pacific (CP) and Eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño events and their temporal diversity marked by different timescales and intermittency in these types of events. By affecting various Earth system components, ENSO and its STPD yield significant environmental, ecological, economic, and societal impacts over the globe. The basic dynamics of ENSO as a canonical oscillator generated by coupled ocean–atmosphere interactions in the tropical Pacific have been largely understood. A minimal simple conceptual model such as the recharge oscillator paradigm provides means for quantifying the linear and nonlinear seasonally modulated growth rate and frequency together with ENSO’s state-dependent noise forcing for understanding ENSO’s amplitude and periodicity, boreal winter-time phase locking, and warm/cold phase asymmetry. However, the dynamical mechanisms explaining the key features of ENSO STPD associated with CP and EP events remain to be better understood. This article provides a summary of the recentmore »active research on the dynamics of ENSO STPD together with discussions on challenges and outlooks for theoretical, diagnostic, and numerical modeling approaches to advance our understanding and modeling of ENSO, its STPD, and their broad impacts.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 25, 2023
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  6. Abstract Current climate models have relatively high skills in predicting El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phase (i.e., El Niño, neutral, and La Niña), once leaping over the spring predictability barrier. However, it is still a big challenge to realistically forecast the ENSO amplitude, for instance, whether a predicted event will be strong, moderate, or weak. Here we demonstrate that the accumulated westerly wind events (WWEs)/easterly wind surges (EWSs) and oceanic recharged/discharged states are both of importance in accurate ENSO amplitude forecasts. El Niño and La Niña events exhibit asymmetric temporal and spatial features in the atmospheric and oceanic preconditions. El Niño amplitude at the peak season is closely associated with the accumulated WWEs over the eastern equatorial Pacific from the previous December to May and the recharged state in the western equatorial Pacific during February. In contrast, the amplitude of La Niña events is sensitive to the accumulated EWSs over the equatorial western Pacific from the previous November to April and the discharged state extending from the equatorial western to central Pacific during February. Considering these asymmetric atmospheric and oceanic preconditions of El Niño and La Niña cases, a statistical model is established to accurately forecast the ENSO amplitude at itsmore »mature phase during 1982–2018, which is validated to be robust based on a 1-yr cross-validation and independent sample tests. The feasibility and the limitation of the established statistical model are also discussed by examining its practical utility.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  7. The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon features rich sea surface temperature (SST) spatial pattern variations dominated by the Central Pacific (CP) and Eastern Pacific (EP) patterns during its warm phase. Understanding such ENSO pattern diversity has been a subject under extensive research activity. To provide a framework for unveiling the fundamental dynamics of ENSO diversity, an intermediate coupled model based on the Cane-Zebiak-type framework, named RCZ, is established in this study. Compared with the original Cane-Zebiak model, RCZ consists of revised model formulation and well-tuned parameterization schemes. All model components are carefully validated against the observations via the standalone mode, in which the observed anomalous SST (wind stress) forcing is prescribed to drive the atmospheric (oceanic) component. The superiority of RCZ’s model components over those in the original Cane-Zebiak model is evidenced by their better performance in simulating the observations. Coupled simulation with RCZ satisfactorily reproduces aspects of the observed ENSO characteristics, including the spatial pattern, phase-locking, amplitude asymmetry, and, particularly, ENSO diversity/bi-modality. RCZ serves as a promising tool for studying dynamics of ENSO diversity as it resolves most of the relevant processes proposed in the literature, including atmospheric nonlinear convective heating, oceanic nonlinear dynamical heating, and the ENSO/westerly windmore »burst interaction.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 25, 2023
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 28, 2023
  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 16, 2023
  10. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 27, 2023