, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 533-549,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 01 Feb 2008

ENSO teleconnections in projections of future climate in ECHAM5/MPI-OM


The teleconnections of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in future climate projections are investigated using results of the coupled climate model ECHAM5/MPI-OM. For this, the IPCC SRES scenario A1B and a quadrupled CO2 simulation are considered. It is found that changes of the mean state in the tropical Pacific are likely to condition ENSO teleconnections in the Pacific North America (PNA) region and in the North Atlantic European (NAE) region. With increasing greenhouse gas emissions the changes of the mean states in the tropical and sub-tropical Pacific are El Niño-like in this particular model. Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific are increased predominantly in its eastern part and redistribute the precipitation further eastward. The dynamical response of the atmosphere is such that the equatorial east–west (Walker) circulation and the eastern Pacific inverse Hadley circulation are decreased. Over the subtropical East Pacific and North Atlantic the 200 hPa westerly wind is substantially increased. Composite maps of different climate parameters for positive and negative ENSO events are used to reveal changes of the ENSO teleconnections. Mean sea level pressure and upper tropospheric zonal winds indicate an eastward shift of the well-known teleconnection patterns in the PNA region and an increasing North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) like response over the NAE region. Surface temperature and precipitation underline this effect, particularly over the North Pacific and the central North Atlantic. Moreover, in the NAE region the 200 hPa westerly wind is increasingly related to the stationary wave activity. Here the stationary waves appear NAO-like.