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Jing-Jia Luo
and
Toshio Yamagata

Abstract

Using outputs of a high-resolution ocean general circulation model, upper-ocean heat content budget and mixed layer heat budget are analyzed to investigate the reason for the 1988–89 decadal warming event in the northern North Pacific. The model reproduces realistic upper-ocean temperature changes in comparison with observational data. This analysis suggests that the horizontal mean geostrophic advection of anomalous temperature is the main contributor to the heat content increase around 1988–89, and surface heat flux forcing is the main contributor to increasing mixed layer temperature. The anomalous geostrophic advection of mean temperature plays a negative role in the increase of both the upper-ocean heat content and mixed layer temperature in midlatitudes around 1988–89. Another negative contribution to the mixed layer temperature increase is provided by the Ekman advection. In the Kuroshio Extension region, the warm upper-ocean heat content anomaly appears in 1987–88, in which the mean geostrophic advection also plays a dominant role. South of Japan the decadal warming appears even earlier, around 1985–86. The anomalous Kuroshio transport shows a decadal decreasing trend since the early 1980s and therefore cannot explain the late 1980s warming event in midlatitudes. The 1988–89 event is found to be closely linked with the decadal change of the Kuroshio path south of Japan. It is found that subtropical Rossby waves may influence the decadal temperature changes south of Japan.

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Jing-Jia Luo
and
Toshio Yamagata

Abstract

Using outputs of a high-resolution ocean general circulation model, upper-ocean heat content budget and mixed layer heat budget are analyzed to investigate the reason for the 1988–89 decadal warming event in the northern North Pacific. The model reproduces realistic upper-ocean temperature changes in comparison with observational data. This analysis suggests that the horizontal mean geostrophic advection of anomalous temperature is the main contributor to the heat content increase around 1988–89, and surface heat flux forcing is the main contributor to increasing mixed layer temperature. The anomalous geostrophic advection of mean temperature plays a negative role in the increase of both the upper-ocean heat content and mixed layer temperature in midlatitudes around 1988–89. Another negative contribution to the mixed layer temperature increase is provided by the Ekman advection. In the Kuroshio Extension region, the warm upper-ocean heat content anomaly appears in 1987–88, in which the mean geostrophic advection also plays a dominant role. South of Japan the decadal warming appears even earlier, around 1985–86. The anomalous Kuroshio transport shows a decadal decreasing trend since the early 1980s and therefore cannot explain the late 1980s warming event in midlatitudes. The 1988–89 event is found to be closely linked with the decadal change of the Kuroshio path south of Japan. It is found that subtropical Rossby waves may influence the decadal temperature changes south of Japan.

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Chen Li
,
Jing-Jia Luo
, and
Shuanglin Li

Abstract

The impacts of different types of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on the interannual negative correlation (seesaw) between the Somali cross-equatorial flow (CEF) and the Maritime Continent (MC) CEF during boreal summer (June–August) are investigated using the ECMWF twentieth-century reanalysis (ERA-20C) dataset and numerical experiments with a global atmospheric model [the Met Office Unified Model global atmosphere, version 6 (UM-GA6)]. The results suggest that ENSO plays a prominent role in governing the CEF-seesaw relation. A high positive correlation (0.86) exists between the MC CEF and Niño-3.4 index and also in the case of eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño, central Pacific (CP) El Niño, EP La Niña, and CP La Niña events. In contrast, a negative correlation (−0.35) exists between the Somali CEF and Niño-3.4 index, and this negative relation is significant only in the EP El Niño years. Further, the variation of the MC CEF is highly correlated with the local north–south sea surface temperature (SST) gradient, while the variation of the Somali CEF displays little relation with the local SST gradient. The Somali CEF may be remotely influenced by ENSO. The model results confirm that the EP El Niño plays a major role in causing the weakened Somali CEF via modifying the Walker cell. However, the impact of the EP El Niño on the Somali CEF differs with different seasonal background. It is also found that the interannual CEF seesaw displays a multidecadal change before and after the 1950s, which is linked with the multidecadal strengthening of the intensity of the EP ENSO.

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Tomoki Tozuka
,
Jing-Jia Luo
,
Sebastien Masson
, and
Toshio Yamagata

Abstract

The decadal variation in the tropical Indian Ocean is investigated using outputs from a 200-yr integration of the Scale Interaction Experiment-Frontier Research Center for Global Change (SINTEX-F1) ocean–atmosphere coupled model. The first EOF mode of the decadal bandpass- (9–35 yr) filtered sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) represents a basinwide mode and is closely related with the Pacific ENSO-like decadal variability. The second EOF mode shows a clear east–west SSTA dipole pattern similar to that of the interannual Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) and may be termed the decadal IOD. However, it is demonstrated that the decadal air–sea interaction in the Tropics can be a statistical artifact; it should be interpreted more correctly as decadal modulation of interannual IOD events (i.e., asymmetric or skewed occurrence of positive and negative events). Heat budget analysis has revealed that the occurrence of IOD events is governed by variations in the southward Ekman heat transport across 15°S and variations in the Indonesian Throughflow associated with the ENSO. The variations in the southward Ekman heat transport are related to the Mascarene high activities.

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Tomoki Tozuka
,
Jing-Jia Luo
,
Sebastien Masson
, and
Toshio Yamagata

Abstract

Using outputs from the SINTEX-F1 coupled GCM, the thermodynamics of ENSO events and its relation with the seasonal cycle are investigated. Simulated El Niño events are first classified into four groups depending on during which season the Niño-3.4 sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) index (5°S–5°N, 120°–170°W) reaches its peak. Although the heat content of the tropical Pacific decreases for all four types, the tropical Pacific loses about twice as much during an El Niño that peaks during winter compared with one that peaks during summer. The surface heat flux, the southward heat transport at 15°S, and the Indonesian Throughflow heat transport contribute constructively to this remarkable seasonal difference. It is shown that the Indonesian Throughflow supplies anomalous heat from the Indian Ocean, especially during the summer El Niño–like event. Changes in the basic state provided by the seasonal cycle cause differences in the atmospheric response to the SSTA, which in turn lead to the difference between the surface heat flux and the meridional heat transport anomaly.

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Chi-Cherng Hong
,
Tim Li
, and
Jing-Jia Luo

Abstract

In this second part of a two-part paper, the mechanism for the amplitude asymmetry of SST anomalies (SSTA) between positive and negative Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) events is investigated through the diagnosis of coupled model simulations. Same as the observed in Part I, a significant negative skewness appears in the IOD east pole (IODE) in September–November (SON), whereas there is no significant skewness in the IOD west pole (IODW). A sensitivity experiment shows that the negative skewness in IODE appears even in the case when the ENSO is absent.

The diagnosis of the model mixed layer heat budget reveals that the negative skewness is primarily induced by the nonlinear ocean temperature advection and the asymmetry of the cloud–radiation–SST feedback, consistent with the observation (Part I). However, the simulated latent heat flux anomaly is greatly underestimated in IODE during the IOD developing stage [June–September (JJAS)]. As a result, the net surface heat flux acts as strong thermal damping. The underestimation of the latent heat flux anomaly in the IODE is probably caused by the westward shift of along-coast wind anomalies off Sumatra.

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Jing-Jia Luo
,
Sebastien Masson
,
Swadhin Behera
, and
Toshio Yamagata

Abstract

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) has profound socioeconomic impacts on not only the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean but also various parts of the world. A forecast system is developed based on a relatively high-resolution coupled ocean–atmosphere GCM with only sea surface temperature (SST) information assimilated. Retrospective ensemble forecasts of the IOD index for the past two decades show skillful scores with up to a 3–4-month lead and a winter prediction barrier associated with its intrinsic strong seasonal phase locking. Prediction skills of the SST anomalies in both the eastern and western Indian Ocean are higher than those of the IOD index; this is because of the influences of ENSO, which is highly predictable. The model predicts the extreme positive IOD event in 1994 at a 2–3-season lead. The strong 1997 cold signal in the eastern pole, however, is not well predicted owing to errors in model initial subsurface conditions. The real-time forecast system with more ensembles successfully predicted the weak negative IOD event in the 2005 boreal fall and La Niña condition in the 2005/06 winter. Recent experimental real-time forecasts showed that a positive IOD event would appear in the 2006 summer and fall accompanied by a possible weak El Niño condition in the equatorial Pacific.

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Jing-Jia Luo
,
Sebastien Masson
,
Swadhin K. Behera
, and
Toshio Yamagata

Abstract

Using a fully coupled global ocean–atmosphere general circulation model assimilating only sea surface temperature, the authors found for the first time that several El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events over the past two decades can be predicted at lead times of up to 2 yr. The El Niño condition in the 1997/98 winter can be predicted to some extent up to about a 1½-yr lead but with a weak intensity and large phase delay in the prediction of the onset of this exceptionally strong event. This is attributed to the influence of active and intensive stochastic westerly wind bursts during late 1996 to mid-1997, which are generally unpredictable at seasonal time scales. The cold signals in the 1984/85 and 1999/2000 winters during the peak phases of the past two long-lasting La Niña events are predicted well up to a 2-yr lead. Amazingly, the mild El Niño–like event of 2002/03 is also predicted well up to a 2-yr lead, suggesting a link between the prolonged El Niño and the tropical Pacific decadal variability. Seasonal climate anomalies over vast parts of the globe during specific ENSO years are also realistically predicted up to a 2-yr lead for the first time.

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Jing-Jia Luo
,
Sebastien Masson
,
Erich Roeckner
,
Gurvan Madec
, and
Toshio Yamagata

Abstract

The cold tongue in the tropical Pacific extends too far west in most current ocean–atmosphere coupled GCMs (CGCMs). This bias also exists in the relatively high-resolution SINTEX-F CGCM despite its remarkable performance of simulating ENSO variations. In terms of the importance of air–sea interactions to the climatology formation in the tropical Pacific, several sensitivity experiments with improved coupling physics have been performed in order to reduce the cold-tongue bias in CGCMs.

By allowing for momentum transfer of the ocean surface current to the atmosphere [full coupled simulation (FCPL)] or merely reducing the wind stress by taking the surface current into account in the bulk formula [semicoupled simulation (semi-CPL)], the warm-pool/cold-tongue structure in the equatorial Pacific is simulated better than that of the control simulation (CTL) in which the movement of the ocean surface is ignored for wind stress calculation. The reduced surface zonal current and vertical entrainment owing to the reduced easterly wind stress tend to produce a warmer sea surface temperature (SST) in the western equatorial Pacific. Consequently, the dry bias there is much reduced. The warming tendency of the SST in the eastern Pacific, however, is largely suppressed by isopycnal diffusion and meridional advection of colder SST from south of the equator due to enhanced coastal upwelling near Peru. The ENSO signal in the western Pacific and its global teleconnection in the North Pacific are simulated more realistically.

The approach as adopted in the FCPL run is able to generate a correct zonal SST slope and efficiently reduce the cold-tongue bias in the equatorial Pacific. The surface easterly wind itself in the FCPL run is weakened, reducing the easterly wind stress further. This is related with a weakened zonal Walker cell in the atmospheric boundary layer over the eastern Pacific and a new global angular momentum balance of the atmosphere associated with reduced westerly wind stress over the southern oceans.

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Jing-Jia Luo
,
Sebastien Masson
,
Swadhin Behera
,
Satoru Shingu
, and
Toshio Yamagata

Abstract

Predictabilities of tropical climate signals are investigated using a relatively high resolution Scale Interaction Experiment–Frontier Research Center for Global Change (FRCGC) coupled GCM (SINTEX-F). Five ensemble forecast members are generated by perturbing the model’s coupling physics, which accounts for the uncertainties of both initial conditions and model physics. Because of the model’s good performance in simulating the climatology and ENSO in the tropical Pacific, a simple coupled SST-nudging scheme generates realistic thermocline and surface wind variations in the equatorial Pacific. Several westerly and easterly wind bursts in the western Pacific are also captured.

Hindcast results for the period 1982–2001 show a high predictability of ENSO. All past El Niño and La Niña events, including the strongest 1997/98 warm episode, are successfully predicted with the anomaly correlation coefficient (ACC) skill scores above 0.7 at the 12-month lead time. The predicted signals of some particular events, however, become weak with a delay in the phase at mid and long lead times. This is found to be related to the intraseasonal wind bursts that are unpredicted beyond a few months of lead time. The model forecasts also show a “spring prediction barrier” similar to that in observations. Spatial SST anomalies, teleconnection, and global drought/flood during three different phases of ENSO are successfully predicted at 9–12-month lead times.

In the tropical North Atlantic and southwestern Indian Ocean, where ENSO has predominant influences, the model shows skillful predictions at the 7–12-month lead times. The distinct signal of the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) event in 1994 is predicted at the 6-month lead time. SST anomalies near the western coast of Australia are also predicted beyond the 12-month lead time because of pronounced decadal signals there.

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