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Climate Dynamics
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Climate Dynamics
Article . 2006
License: Springer TDM
Data sources: Crossref
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Future changes of El Niño in two global coupled climate models

Authors: Gerald A. Meehl; Haiyan Teng; Grant Branstator;

Future changes of El Niño in two global coupled climate models

Abstract

Idealized forcing experiments with 1% per year CO2 increase to stabilized doubled and quadrupled CO2, twenty-first century transient scenario experiments (SRES scenarios A1B and B1), and stabilized twenty-second century A1B and B1 experiments with two global coupled climate models (PCM and CCSM3) are analyzed for possible future changes of El Nino events. With increased CO2 in the models, there is a reduction of amplitude of El Nino events. This is particularly apparent with larger forcing in the stabilized 4×CO2 experiment in PCM and the stabilized greenhouse gas A1B experiment in CCSM3, where the reduction of amplitude is outside the range of the inherent multi-century variability of El Nino in the control runs of the models and is statistically significant. With moderately increased forcing (stabilized 2×CO2 in PCM and the stabilized B1 experiment in CCSM3), the reduction in amplitude is evident, but it is not significant. The change in El Nino behavior with larger forcing is attributed to the change in base state temperature in the equatorial Pacific, which is similar with increased greenhouse gases (GHGs) in both models. Positive temperature anomalies in and below the thermocline, associated with a reduction of the trade winds, and weakened Pacific Ocean subtropical cells, produce a less intense thermocline, and consequently lower amplitude El Nino events. The previously noted intensification of El Nino tropical precipitation anomalies in a warmer mean base state that applied when there was no appreciable change in El Nino amplitude does not hold in the present study where the El Nino events decrease in magnitude in a future warmer climate. North American surface temperature anomalies associated with El Nino are reduced and become less significant in the future events, with the anomalously deepened Aleutian low in the North Pacific weakened and moved eastward with greater radiative forcing. Part of this is attributed to the smaller amplitude events and thus lower amplitude teleconnections as indicated by contrasting composites of medium and high amplitude El Nino events from the control runs. The change in midlatitude base state circulation also contributes to the change in El Nino teleconnections. The effects of this change in base state on the weakened El Nino teleconnections over North America are confirmed in sensitivity experiments with a version of the atmospheric model in which heating anomalies are specified to mimic El Nino events in a base state changed due to increased GHGs.

Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Forcing (mathematics) Radiative forcing Amplitude Greenhouse gas Middle latitudes Climatology Environmental science Climate model Thermocline Teleconnection

Keywords

Atmospheric Science

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  • citations
    This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    102
    popularity
    This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
    influence
    This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
    Top 1%
    impulse
    This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
    Top 10%
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citations
This is an alternative to the "Influence" indicator, which also reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Citations provided by BIP!
popularity
This indicator reflects the "current" impact/attention (the "hype") of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Popularity provided by BIP!
influence
This indicator reflects the overall/total impact of an article in the research community at large, based on the underlying citation network (diachronically).
BIP!Influence provided by BIP!
impulse
This indicator reflects the initial momentum of an article directly after its publication, based on the underlying citation network.
BIP!Impulse provided by BIP!
102
Top 10%
Top 1%
Top 10%
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