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Two Tropical Routes for the Remote Influence of the Northern Tropical Atlantic on the Indo–Western Pacific Summer Climate

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  • 1 Meteorological Research Institute, Japan Meteorological Agency, Ibaraki, Japan
  • | 2 Aerological Observatory, Japan Meteorological Agency, Ibaraki, Japan
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Abstract

This study investigates the influence of sea surface temperature (SST) in the northern tropical Atlantic (NTA) on the Indo–western Pacific summer climate by analyzing record-high NTA SSTs in summer 2010. In that time, a decaying El Niño and developing La Niña were accompanied by widespread anomalous climate conditions in the Indo–western Pacific. These conditions are typical of summers that follow El Niño events and are often explained as being due to the influence of Indian Ocean warming induced by El Niños. Meanwhile, the record-high NTA SSTs that resulted from the influence of El Niño, the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation and the interdecadal-and-longer NTA SST variability are one of the possible causes of anomalous conditions in the Indo–western Pacific. The results of sensitivity experiments using a coupled atmosphere–ocean model clearly indicate that the high NTA SSTs had a considerable influence on the summer weather in the Indo–western Pacific via two tropical routes: an eastbound route that involved a reinforcement of the atmospheric equatorial Kelvin wave and a westbound route that involved altering the Walker circulation over the Atlantic–Pacific region. The altered Walker circulation facilitated the transition to La Niña, amplifying the impact on the western North Pacific monsoon. Further evaluation reveals that both the interannual and interdecadal-and-longer variability of the NTA SST contributed to the anomalous Indo–western Pacific summer. The results highlight the interannual to multidecadal predictability of the Indo–western Pacific summer climate that originates in the NTA.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Yuhei Takaya, yuhei.takaya@mri-jma.go.jp

Abstract

This study investigates the influence of sea surface temperature (SST) in the northern tropical Atlantic (NTA) on the Indo–western Pacific summer climate by analyzing record-high NTA SSTs in summer 2010. In that time, a decaying El Niño and developing La Niña were accompanied by widespread anomalous climate conditions in the Indo–western Pacific. These conditions are typical of summers that follow El Niño events and are often explained as being due to the influence of Indian Ocean warming induced by El Niños. Meanwhile, the record-high NTA SSTs that resulted from the influence of El Niño, the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation and the interdecadal-and-longer NTA SST variability are one of the possible causes of anomalous conditions in the Indo–western Pacific. The results of sensitivity experiments using a coupled atmosphere–ocean model clearly indicate that the high NTA SSTs had a considerable influence on the summer weather in the Indo–western Pacific via two tropical routes: an eastbound route that involved a reinforcement of the atmospheric equatorial Kelvin wave and a westbound route that involved altering the Walker circulation over the Atlantic–Pacific region. The altered Walker circulation facilitated the transition to La Niña, amplifying the impact on the western North Pacific monsoon. Further evaluation reveals that both the interannual and interdecadal-and-longer variability of the NTA SST contributed to the anomalous Indo–western Pacific summer. The results highlight the interannual to multidecadal predictability of the Indo–western Pacific summer climate that originates in the NTA.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Yuhei Takaya, yuhei.takaya@mri-jma.go.jp
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