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Seon Tae Kim
,
Jin-Yi Yu
,
Arun Kumar
, and
Hui Wang

Abstract

Two types of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) simulated by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Climate Forecast System (CFS) model are examined. The model is found to produce both the eastern Pacific (EP) and central Pacific (CP) types of ENSO with spatial patterns and temporal evolutions similar to the observed. The simulated ENSO intensity is comparable to the observed for the EP type, but weaker than the observed for the CP type. Further analyses reveal that the generation of the simulated CP ENSO is linked to extratropical forcing associated with the North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) and that the model is capable of simulating the coupled air–sea processes in the subtropical Pacific that slowly spreads the NPO-induced SST variability into the tropics, as shown in the observations. The simulated NPO, however, does not extend as far into the deep tropics as it does in the observations and the coupling in the model is not sustained as long as it is in the observations. As a result, the extratropical forcing of tropical central Pacific SST variability in the CFS model is weaker than in the observations. An additional analysis with the Bjerknes stability index indicates that the weaker CP ENSO in the CFS model is also partially due to unrealistically weak zonal advective feedback in the equatorial Pacific. These model deficiencies appear to be related to an underestimation in the amount of the marine stratus clouds off the North American coasts inducing an ocean surface warm bias in the eastern Pacific. This study suggests that a realistic simulation of these marine stratus clouds can be important for the CP ENSO simulation.

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Houk Paek
,
Jin-Yi Yu
,
Jyh-Wen Hwu
,
Mong-Ming Lu
, and
Tao Gao

Abstract

This study reveals a possible cause of model bias in simulating the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) variability via an examination of an Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) simulation produced by the atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) developed at Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau (CWB). During boreal summer, the model overestimates the quasi-biennial (2–3 yr) band of WPSH variability but underestimates the low-frequency (3–5 yr) band of variability. The overestimation of the quasi-biennial WPSH sensitivity is found to be due to the model’s stronger sensitivity to the central Pacific El Niño–Southern Oscillation (CP ENSO) that has a leading periodicity in the quasi-biennial band. The model underestimates the low-frequency WPSH variability because of its weaker sensitivity to the eastern Pacific (EP) ENSO that has a leading periodicity in the 3–5-yr band. These different model sensitivities are shown to be related to the relative strengths of the mean Hadley and Walker circulations simulated in the model. An overly strong Hadley circulation causes the CWB AGCM to be overly sensitive to the CP ENSO, while an overly weak Walker circulation results in a weak sensitivity to the EP ENSO. The relative strengths of the simulated mean Hadley and Walker circulations are critical to a realistic simulation of the summer WPSH variability in AGCMs. This conclusion is further supported using AMIP simulations produced by three other AGCMs, including the CanAM4, GISS-E2-R, and IPSL-CM5A-MR models.

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