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  1. Abstract

    Previous studies have emphasized the significance of a strong El Niño preceding La Niña (LN) in the formation of multi-year LN events due to the slow recharge-discharge ocean heat content process. However, observational analyses from 1900 to 2022 reveal that the majority (64%) of multi-year LN events did not necessitate a preceding strong El Niño to generate their second LN, suggesting an overemphasis on traditional views. Instead, here we show that a negative phase of the North Pacific Meridional Mode (PMM) during spring, when the first LN begins to decay, activates the mechanism responsible for triggering another LN and producing a multi-year event. The westward extension of the first LN’s cold anomalies, which interact directly with the eastern edge of the western Pacific warm pool, is highlighted as a crucial factor in the occurrence of a negative PMM. Additionally, the PMM mechanism can create a third LN, leading to triple-dip events.

     
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  2. Abstract

    This study explores the key differences between single-year (SY) and multiyear (MY) El Niño properties and examines their relative importance in causing the diverse evolution of El Niño. Using a CESM1 simulation, observation/reanalysis data, and pacemaker coupled model experiments, the study suggests that the Indian Ocean plays a crucial role in distinguishing between the two types of El Niño evolution through subtropical ENSO dynamics. These dynamics can produce MY El Niño events if the climatological northeasterly trade winds are weakened or even reversed over the subtropical Pacific when El Niño peaks. However, El Niño and the positive Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) it typically induces both strengthen the climatological northeasterly trades, preventing the subtropical Pacific dynamics from producing MY events. MY events can occur if the El Niño fails to induce a positive IOD, which is more likely when the El Niño is weak or of the central Pacific type. Additionally, this study finds that such a weak correlation between El Niño and the IOD occurs during decades when the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) is in its positive phase. Statistical analyses and pacemaker coupled model experiments confirm that the positive AMO phase increases the likelihood of these conditions, resulting in a higher frequency of MY El Niño events.

     
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  3. Abstract

    The occurrence of super typhoons outside the normal typhoon season can result in devastating loss of life and property damage. Our research reveals that the 11-year solar cycle can affect the incidence of these off-season typhoons (from November to April) in the western North Pacific by influencing sea surface temperature (SST) through a footprint mechanism. The solar cycle, once amplified by atmospheric and ocean interactions, generates a noticeable SST footprint in the subtropical North Pacific during winter and spring, which eventually intrudes into the tropical central Pacific and affects the atmospheric conditions, resulting in an increase or decrease in the occurrence of super typhoons during active or inactive solar periods. This mechanism has become more effective since the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) shifted to a warm phase in the 1990s, intensifying the subtropical Pacific couplings. An example of this type of off-season super typhoon during an active solar period is Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. By incorporating information about the solar cycle, we can anticipate the likelihood of super typhoon occurrences, thus improving decadal disaster preparation and planning.

     
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  4. Abstract

    During 2013–16 and 2018–22, marine heatwaves (MHWs) occurred in the North Pacific, exhibiting similar extensive coverage, lengthy duration, and significant intensity but with different warming centers. The warming center of the 2013–16 event was in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA), while the 2018–22 event had warming centers in both the GOA and the coast of Japan (COJ). Our observational analysis indicates that these two events can be considered as two MHW variants induced by a basinwide MHW conditioning mode in the North Pacific. Both variants were driven thermodynamically by atmospheric wave trains propagating from the tropical Pacific to the North Pacific, within the conditioning mode. The origin and propagating path of these wave trains play a crucial role in determining the specific type of MHW variant. When a stronger wave train originates from the tropical central (western) Pacific, it leads to the GOA (COJ) variant. The cross-basin nature of the wave trains enables the two MHW variants to be accompanied by a tripolar pattern of sea surface temperature anomalies in the North Atlantic but with opposite phases. The association of these two MHW variants with the Atlantic Ocean also manifests in the decadal variations of their occurrence. Both variants tend to occur more frequently during the positive phase of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation but less so during the negative phase. This study underscores the importance of cross-basin associations between the North Pacific and North Atlantic in shaping the dynamics of North Pacific MHWs.

     
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  5. Abstract El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) exhibits diverse characteristics in spatial pattern, peak intensity, and temporal evolution. Here we develop a three-region multiscale stochastic model to show that the observed ENSO complexity can be explained by combining intraseasonal, interannual, and decadal processes. The model starts with a deterministic three-region system for the interannual variabilities. Then two stochastic processes of the intraseasonal and decadal variation are incorporated. The model can reproduce not only the general properties of the observed ENSO events, but also the complexity in patterns (e.g., Central Pacific vs. Eastern Pacific events), intensity (e.g., 10–20 year reoccurrence of extreme El Niños), and temporal evolution (e.g., more multi-year La Niñas than multi-year El Niños). While conventional conceptual models were typically used to understand the dynamics behind the common properties of ENSO, this model offers a powerful tool to understand and predict ENSO complexity that challenges our understanding of the twenty-first century ENSO. 
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  6. Abstract The Indian and Pacific Oceans surround the Maritime Continent (MC). Major modes of sea surface temperature variability in both oceans, including the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), can strongly affect precipitation on the MC. The prevalence of fires in the MC is closely associated with precipitation amount and terrestrial water storage in September and October. Precipitation and terrestrial water storage, which is a measurement of hydrological drought conditions, are significantly modulated by Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and El Niño events. We utilize long-term datasets to study the combined effects of ENSO and the IOD on MC precipitation during the past 100 years (1900–2019) and find that the reductions in MC precipitation and terrestrial water storage are more pronounced during years when El Niño and a positive phase of the IOD (pIOD) coincided. The combined negative effects are produced mainly through an enhanced reduction of upward motion over the MC. Coincident El Niño-pIOD events have occurred more frequently after 1965. However, climate models do not project a higher occurrence of coincident El Niño-pIOD events in a severely warming condition, implying that not the global warming but the natural variability might be the leading cause of this phenomenon. 
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  7. Abstract

    To better understand the diverse temporal evolutions of observed El Niño‒Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, which are characterized as single- or multi-year, this study examines similar events in a 2200-year-long integration of Community Earth System Model, version 1. Results show that selective activation of inter- and intra-basin climate interactions (together, pantropical climate interactions) controls ENSO’s evolution pattern. When ENSO preferentially activates inter-basin interactions with tropical Indian and/or Atlantic Oceans, it introduces negative feedbacks into the ENSO phase, resulting in single-year evolution. When ENSO preferentially activates intra-basin interactions with subtropical North Pacific, it causes positive feedbacks, producing multi-year evolution. Three key factors (developing-season intensity, pre-onset Pacific condition, and maximum zonal location) and their thresholds, which determine whether inter- or intra-basin interactions are activated and whether an event will become a single- or multi-year event, are identified. These findings offer a way to predict ENSO’s evolution pattern by incorporating the controlling role of pantropical climate interactions.

     
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  8. Abstract

    Using hindcasts produced by a coupled climate model, this study evaluates whether the model can forecast the observed spatiotemporal complexity in the El Niño−Southern Oscillation (ENSO) during the period 1982−2011: the eastern Pacific (EP), central Pacific‐I (CP‐I) and ‐II (CP‐II) types of El Niño, and the multi‐year evolution events of El Niño occurred in 1986–1988 (i.e., 1986/87/88 El Niño) and La Niña occurred in 1998–2000 (i.e., 1998/99/00 La Niña). With regard to the spatial complexity, it is found that the CP‐I type of El Niño is the easiest to hindcast, the CP‐II is second, and the EP is most difficult to hindcast as its amplitude is significantly underestimated in the model used here. The model deficiency in hindcasting the EP El Niño is related to a warm bias in climatological sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the tropical eastern Pacific. This warm bias is related to model biases in the strengths of the Pacific Walker circulation and South Pacific high, both of which are notably weaker than observed. As for the temporal complexity, the model successfully hindcasts the multi‐year evolution of the 1998/99/00 La Niña but fails to accurately hindcast the 1986/87/88 El Niño. This contrasting model performance in hindcasting multi‐year events is found to be related to a cold bias in climatological SSTs in the tropical central Pacific. This cold bias result enables the model La Niña, but not El Niño, to activate intrabasin tropical‒subtropical interactions associated with the Pacific Meridional Mode that produce the multi‐year evolution pattern.

     
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  9. Abstract

    During the past two decades, the Maritime Continent (MC) has experienced increased deforestation. Here we show, with ensemble idealized deforestation experiments, that the MC deforestation could potentially alter the complexity (i.e., event‐to‐event differences) of the El Niño‐Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in terms of its spatial pattern and temporal evolution. The deforestation model run increases the occurrences of the Central Pacific and multi‐year types of ENSO compared to the control experiments. This change in ENSO complexity can be attributed to MC's intensification of the subtropical ENSO dynamics, commonly known as the seasonal footprinting mechanism. The deforestation amplifies the mean state of the subtropical high over the northeastern Pacific, leading to an increased dominance of subtropical ENSO dynamics in determining the ENSO pattern and evolution. This idealized coupled climate modeling study suggests that MC deforestation has a potential to alter ENSO's complexity, making El Niño more complex and less predictable.

     
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