Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

ENSO Regime Changes Responsible for Decadal Phase Relationship Variations Between ENSO Sea Surface Temperature and Warm Water Volume

TitleENSO Regime Changes Responsible for Decadal Phase Relationship Variations Between ENSO Sea Surface Temperature and Warm Water Volume
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsZhang, Wenjun, Li Sixu, Jin Fei‐Fei, Xie Ruihuang, Liu Chao, Stuecker Malte F., and Xue Aoyun
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume46
Number13
Pages7546-7553
Abstract / Summary

The relationship between the equatorial Pacific warm water volume (WWV) and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) sea surface temperature (SST) has varied considerably on decadal timescales. These changes are strongly related to the occurrence frequency of central Pacific (CP) ENSO events. While both eastern Pacific (EP) and CP ENSO events show clear signatures of WWV recharge/discharge, their phase‐lag relationships between WWV and Niño3.4 SST are different. The WWV usually leads the Niño3.4 SST by two to three seasons during EP ENSO, while the lead time is reduced to one season during CP ENSO. The different phase‐lag relationships can be explained by distinct periodicities of the two ENSO types. Hence, ENSO regime changes associated with decadal predominance of either EP or CP ENSO events can give rise to decadal variations in the statistical WWV‐ENSO SST relationship. We emphasize the importance of identifying these different ENSO types and potentially different ENSO regimes to assess ENSO predictability.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2019gl082943
DOI10.1029/2019gl082943
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Year of Publication: 2019
Volume: 46
Number: 13
Pages: 7546-7553
Publication Date: 07/2019

The relationship between the equatorial Pacific warm water volume (WWV) and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) sea surface temperature (SST) has varied considerably on decadal timescales. These changes are strongly related to the occurrence frequency of central Pacific (CP) ENSO events. While both eastern Pacific (EP) and CP ENSO events show clear signatures of WWV recharge/discharge, their phase‐lag relationships between WWV and Niño3.4 SST are different. The WWV usually leads the Niño3.4 SST by two to three seasons during EP ENSO, while the lead time is reduced to one season during CP ENSO. The different phase‐lag relationships can be explained by distinct periodicities of the two ENSO types. Hence, ENSO regime changes associated with decadal predominance of either EP or CP ENSO events can give rise to decadal variations in the statistical WWV‐ENSO SST relationship. We emphasize the importance of identifying these different ENSO types and potentially different ENSO regimes to assess ENSO predictability.

DOI: 10.1029/2019gl082943
Citation:
Zhang, W, S Li, F Jin, R Xie, C Liu, M Stuecker, and A Xue.  2019.  "ENSO Regime Changes Responsible for Decadal Phase Relationship Variations Between ENSO Sea Surface Temperature and Warm Water Volume."  Geophysical Research Letters 46(13): 7546-7553.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl082943.