Nonlinear Response of Summertime Synoptic-Scale Disturbance Intensity over the Tropical Western North Pacific to ENSO Amplitude

Qinlu Gu aSchool of Earth Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

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Renguang Wu aSchool of Earth Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
bSouthern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai, China

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Sang-Wook Yeh cDepartment of Marine Science and Convergent Engineering, Hanyang University, ERICA, Ansan, South Korea

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Abstract

El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) exhibits nonlinearity in its amplitude and impacts. This study investigates the dependence of summertime synoptic-scale disturbance (SSD) intensity over the tropical western North Pacific (TWNP) on the ENSO amplitude. A tendency of nonlinearity exists in the observed response of the TWNP SSD intensity to the amplitude of tropical central-eastern Pacific (CEP) sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in boreal summer. Numerical experiments are conducted with an atmospheric general circulation model with linearly varying tropical CEP SST anomalies imposed to illustrate the nonlinearity exclusively induced by changes in the ENSO amplitude. A linear increase in the amplitude of El Niño–like SST anomalies results in a nonlinear enhancement of SSD intensity over the TWNP, manifested as the increase in SSD intensity at a rate larger than expected by linear response with an eastward shift. This is attributed to the nonlinear intensification of anomalous ascent over the TWNP induced by tropical convection response to positive tropical CEP SST anomalies and the nonlinear effect of anomalous convection on the synoptic-scale activity. In contrast, as La Niña–like SST anomalies increase linearly, the SSD intensity over the TWNP decreases at a rate slower than expected from a linear response and even reaches saturation with little longitudinal shift. Due to the thermodynamic control on the occurrence of deep convection in the tropics, enhanced negative SST anomalies do not induce additional changes in anomalous descent over the tropical CEP. Thus, the TWNP SSD intensity no longer decreases with further increase in tropical CEP cold SST anomalies.

Significance Statement

Synoptic-scale disturbances (SSDs) over the tropical western North Pacific (TWNP) play an important role in weather and climate over East and Southeast Asia. Impacts of those SSDs are contingent on their intensity. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has substantial impacts on weather and climate worldwide, including the SSDs over the TWNP. ENSO displays a diversity in amplitude, spatial pattern, and temporal evolution. The present study investigates the response of the TWNP SSD intensity to varying ENSO amplitude during boreal summer and reveals a distinctive nonlinear response of the TWNP SSD intensity to the amplitude of El Niño and La Niña, which has important implication for understanding the impacts of ENSO on climate over the TWNP and Asia.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Renguang Wu, renguang@zju.edu.cn

Abstract

El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) exhibits nonlinearity in its amplitude and impacts. This study investigates the dependence of summertime synoptic-scale disturbance (SSD) intensity over the tropical western North Pacific (TWNP) on the ENSO amplitude. A tendency of nonlinearity exists in the observed response of the TWNP SSD intensity to the amplitude of tropical central-eastern Pacific (CEP) sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in boreal summer. Numerical experiments are conducted with an atmospheric general circulation model with linearly varying tropical CEP SST anomalies imposed to illustrate the nonlinearity exclusively induced by changes in the ENSO amplitude. A linear increase in the amplitude of El Niño–like SST anomalies results in a nonlinear enhancement of SSD intensity over the TWNP, manifested as the increase in SSD intensity at a rate larger than expected by linear response with an eastward shift. This is attributed to the nonlinear intensification of anomalous ascent over the TWNP induced by tropical convection response to positive tropical CEP SST anomalies and the nonlinear effect of anomalous convection on the synoptic-scale activity. In contrast, as La Niña–like SST anomalies increase linearly, the SSD intensity over the TWNP decreases at a rate slower than expected from a linear response and even reaches saturation with little longitudinal shift. Due to the thermodynamic control on the occurrence of deep convection in the tropics, enhanced negative SST anomalies do not induce additional changes in anomalous descent over the tropical CEP. Thus, the TWNP SSD intensity no longer decreases with further increase in tropical CEP cold SST anomalies.

Significance Statement

Synoptic-scale disturbances (SSDs) over the tropical western North Pacific (TWNP) play an important role in weather and climate over East and Southeast Asia. Impacts of those SSDs are contingent on their intensity. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has substantial impacts on weather and climate worldwide, including the SSDs over the TWNP. ENSO displays a diversity in amplitude, spatial pattern, and temporal evolution. The present study investigates the response of the TWNP SSD intensity to varying ENSO amplitude during boreal summer and reveals a distinctive nonlinear response of the TWNP SSD intensity to the amplitude of El Niño and La Niña, which has important implication for understanding the impacts of ENSO on climate over the TWNP and Asia.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Renguang Wu, renguang@zju.edu.cn
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