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Jin-Yi Yu
and
Seon Tae Kim

Abstract

This study examines preindustrial simulations from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, phase 3 (CMIP3), models to show that a tendency exists for El Niño sea surface temperature anomalies to be located farther eastward than La Niña anomalies during strong El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events but farther westward than La Niña anomalies during weak ENSO events. Such reversed spatial asymmetries are shown to force a slow change in the tropical Pacific Ocean mean state that in return modulates ENSO amplitude. CMIP3 models that produce strong reversed asymmetries experience cyclic modulations of ENSO intensity, in which strong and weak events occur during opposite phases of a decadal variability mode associated with the residual effects of the reversed asymmetries. It is concluded that the reversed spatial asymmetries enable an ENSO–tropical Pacific mean state interaction mechanism that gives rise to a decadal modulation of ENSO intensity and that at least three CMIP3 models realistically simulate this interaction mechanism.

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Jin-Yi Yu
and
Seon Tae Kim

Abstract

This study examines the linkages between leading patterns of interannual sea level pressure (SLP) variability over the extratropical Pacific (20°–60°N) and the eastern Pacific (EP) and central Pacific (CP) types of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The first empirical orthogonal function (EOF) mode of the extratropical SLP anomalies represents variations of the Aleutian low, and the second EOF mode represents the North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) and is characterized by a meridional SLP anomaly dipole with a nodal point near 50°N. It is shown that a fraction of the first SLP mode can be excited by both the EP and CP types of ENSO. The SLP response to the EP type is stronger and more immediate. The tropical–extratropical teleconnection appears to act more slowly for the CP ENSO. During the decay phase of EP events, the associated extratropical SLP anomalies shift from the first SLP mode to the second SLP mode. As the second SLP mode grows, subtropical SST anomalies are induced beneath via surface heat flux anomalies. The SST anomalies persist after the peak in strength of the second SLP mode, likely because of the seasonal footprinting mechanism, and lead to the development of the CP type of ENSO. This study shows that the CP ENSO is an extratropically excited mode of tropical Pacific variability and also suggests that the decay of an EP type of ENSO can lead to the onset of a CP type of ENSO with the aid of the NPO. This extratropical linking mechanism appears to be at work during the 1972, 1982, and 1997 strong El Niño events, which were all EP events and were all followed by strong CP La Niña events after the NPO was excited in the extratropics. This study concludes that extratropical SLP variations play an important role in exciting the CP type of ENSO and in linking the transitions from the EP to CP events.

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Moosup Kim
,
Seon Tae Kim
, and
Yeomin Jeong

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a downscaling method that statistically describes a local-scale climate from large-scale circulations using the case of a Korean basin during boreal winter. Specifically, since the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) affects the climate of the Korean Peninsula, we make a weather generator model describing the response of the basin climate to the monsoon strength. Moreover, it operates on the basis of a tercile probabilistic prediction of the EAWM strength to generate diverse scenarios of daily weather sequence during the season, which can be utilized in evaluation of the climate impact. We evaluate the prediction skills of operational hindcasts for several existing EAWM indices by applying a multinomial logistic regression method to choose the most suitable index for the downscaling. In the weather generator model, the precipitation model part is designed to be fully parametric. Its parameter values are allowed to vary according to the monsoon strength so that they can represent the climate variability of precipitation. In the temperature model part, the daily temporal variations of the temperature over the Korean basin are decomposed into several oscillations with different frequencies. Since the slowly varying oscillations significantly respond to the monsoon strength, the proposed downscaling scheme is based on the statistical simulation of oscillations according to the monsoon strength. The proposed downscaling scheme is evaluated in terms of the reproducibility of the climate characteristics for a given EAWM strength and the informativeness for predicting monthly climate characteristics.

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Daeha Kim
,
Jong Ahn Chun
, and
Seon Tae Kim
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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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Seon Tae Kim
,
Yun-Young Lee
,
Ji-Hyun Oh
, and
A-Young Lim

Abstract

This study presents the ability of seasonal forecast models to represent the observed midlatitude teleconnection associated with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events over the North American region for the winter months of December, January, and February. Further, the impacts of the associated errors on regional forecast performance for winter temperatures are evaluated, with a focus on 1-month-lead-time forecasts. In most models, there exists a strong linear relationship of temperature anomalies with ENSO, and, thus, a clear anomaly sign separation between both ENSO phases persists throughout the winter, whereas linear relationships are weak in observations. This leads to a difference in the temperature forecast performance between the two ENSO phases. Forecast verification scores show that the winter-season warming events during El Niño in northern North America are more correctly forecast in the models than the cooling events during La Niña and that the winter-season cooling events during El Niño in southern North America are also more correctly forecast in the models than warming events during La Niña. One possible reason for this result is that the remote atmospheric teleconnection pattern in the models is almost linear or symmetric between the El Niño and La Niña phases. The strong linear atmospheric teleconnection appears to be associated with the models’ failure in simulating the westward shift of the tropical Pacific Ocean rainfall response for the La Niña phase as compared with that for the El Niño phase, which is attributed to the warmer central tropical Pacific in the models. This study highlights that understanding how the predictive performance of climate models varies according to El Niño or La Niña phases is very important when utilizing predictive information from seasonal forecast models.

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Boksoon Myoung
,
Seon Tae Kim
,
Yun-Young Lee
,
Inja Jeon
, and
Suhee Han
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Eric Guilyardi
,
Pascale Braconnot
,
Fei-Fei Jin
,
Seon Tae Kim
,
Michel Kolasinski
,
Tim Li
, and
Ionela Musat

Abstract

The too diverse representation of ENSO in a coupled GCM limits one’s ability to describe future change of its properties. Several studies pointed to the key role of atmosphere feedbacks in contributing to this diversity. These feedbacks are analyzed here in two simulations of a coupled GCM that differ only by the parameterization of deep atmospheric convection and the associated clouds. Using the Kerry–Emanuel (KE) scheme in the L’Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace Coupled Model, version 4 (IPSL CM4; KE simulation), ENSO has about the right amplitude, whereas it is almost suppressed when using the Tiedke (TI) scheme. Quantifying both the dynamical Bjerknes feedback and the heat flux feedback in KE, TI, and the corresponding Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) atmosphere-only simulations, it is shown that the suppression of ENSO in TI is due to a doubling of the damping via heat flux feedback. Because the Bjerknes positive feedback is weak in both simulations, the KE simulation exhibits the right ENSO amplitude owing to an error compensation between a too weak heat flux feedback and a too weak Bjerknes feedback. In TI, the heat flux feedback strength is closer to estimates from observations and reanalysis, leading to ENSO suppression. The shortwave heat flux and, to a lesser extent, the latent heat flux feedbacks are the dominant contributors to the change between TI and KE. The shortwave heat flux feedback differences are traced back to a modified distribution of the large-scale regimes of deep convection (negative feedback) and subsidence (positive feedback) in the east Pacific. These are further associated with the model systematic errors. It is argued that a systematic and detailed evaluation of atmosphere feedbacks during ENSO is a necessary step to fully understand its simulation in coupled GCMs.

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Justin Sheffield
,
Suzana J. Camargo
,
Rong Fu
,
Qi Hu
,
Xianan Jiang
,
Nathaniel Johnson
,
Kristopher B. Karnauskas
,
Seon Tae Kim
,
Jim Kinter
,
Sanjiv Kumar
,
Baird Langenbrunner
,
Eric Maloney
,
Annarita Mariotti
,
Joyce E. Meyerson
,
J. David Neelin
,
Sumant Nigam
,
Zaitao Pan
,
Alfredo Ruiz-Barradas
,
Richard Seager
,
Yolande L. Serra
,
De-Zheng Sun
,
Chunzai Wang
,
Shang-Ping Xie
,
Jin-Yi Yu
,
Tao Zhang
, and
Ming Zhao

Abstract

This is the second part of a three-part paper on North American climate in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) that evaluates the twentieth-century simulations of intraseasonal to multidecadal variability and teleconnections with North American climate. Overall, the multimodel ensemble does reasonably well at reproducing observed variability in several aspects, but it does less well at capturing observed teleconnections, with implications for future projections examined in part three of this paper. In terms of intraseasonal variability, almost half of the models examined can reproduce observed variability in the eastern Pacific and most models capture the midsummer drought over Central America. The multimodel mean replicates the density of traveling tropical synoptic-scale disturbances but with large spread among the models. On the other hand, the coarse resolution of the models means that tropical cyclone frequencies are underpredicted in the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific. The frequency and mean amplitude of ENSO are generally well reproduced, although teleconnections with North American climate are widely varying among models and only a few models can reproduce the east and central Pacific types of ENSO and connections with U.S. winter temperatures. The models capture the spatial pattern of Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) variability and its influence on continental temperature and West Coast precipitation but less well for the wintertime precipitation. The spatial representation of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) is reasonable, but the magnitude of SST anomalies and teleconnections are poorly reproduced. Multidecadal trends such as the warming hole over the central–southeastern United States and precipitation increases are not replicated by the models, suggesting that observed changes are linked to natural variability.

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