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Impact of the Indian Ocean Dipole on Evolution of the Subsequent ENSO: Relative Roles of Dynamic and Thermodynamic Processes

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  • 1 Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre, School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • | 2 International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • | 3 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii
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Abstract

The complex interaction between the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is further investigated in this study, with a focus on the impacts of the IOD on ENSO in the subsequent year [ENSO(+1)]. The interaction between the IOD and the concurrent ENSO [ENSO(0)] can be summarized as follows: ENSO(0) can trigger and enhance the IOD, while the IOD can enhance ENSO(0) and accelerate its demise. Regarding the impacts of IOD(0) on the subsequent ENSO(+1), it is revealed that the IOD can lead to anomalous SST cooling patterns over the equatorial Pacific after the winter following the IOD, indicating the formation of a La Niña–like pattern in the subsequent year. While the SST cooling tendency associated with a positive IOD is attributable primarily to net heat flux (thermodynamic processes) from autumn to the ensuing spring, after the ensuing spring the dominant contribution comes from oceanic processes (dynamic processes) instead. From autumn to the ensuing spring, the downward shortwave flux response contributes the most to SST cooling over the central and eastern Pacific, due to the cloud–radiation–SST feedback. From the ensuing winter to the ensuing summer, changes in latent heat flux (LHF) are important for SST cooling, indicating that the release of LHF from the ocean into the atmosphere increases due to strong evaporation and leads to SST cooling through the wind–evaporation–SST feedback. The wind stress response and thermocline shoaling verify that local Bjerknes feedback is crucial for the initiation of La Niña in the later stage.

© 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: Wen Zhou, wenzhou@cityu.edu.hk

Abstract

The complex interaction between the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is further investigated in this study, with a focus on the impacts of the IOD on ENSO in the subsequent year [ENSO(+1)]. The interaction between the IOD and the concurrent ENSO [ENSO(0)] can be summarized as follows: ENSO(0) can trigger and enhance the IOD, while the IOD can enhance ENSO(0) and accelerate its demise. Regarding the impacts of IOD(0) on the subsequent ENSO(+1), it is revealed that the IOD can lead to anomalous SST cooling patterns over the equatorial Pacific after the winter following the IOD, indicating the formation of a La Niña–like pattern in the subsequent year. While the SST cooling tendency associated with a positive IOD is attributable primarily to net heat flux (thermodynamic processes) from autumn to the ensuing spring, after the ensuing spring the dominant contribution comes from oceanic processes (dynamic processes) instead. From autumn to the ensuing spring, the downward shortwave flux response contributes the most to SST cooling over the central and eastern Pacific, due to the cloud–radiation–SST feedback. From the ensuing winter to the ensuing summer, changes in latent heat flux (LHF) are important for SST cooling, indicating that the release of LHF from the ocean into the atmosphere increases due to strong evaporation and leads to SST cooling through the wind–evaporation–SST feedback. The wind stress response and thermocline shoaling verify that local Bjerknes feedback is crucial for the initiation of La Niña in the later stage.

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Corresponding author: Wen Zhou, wenzhou@cityu.edu.hk
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