Variations in seasonal rainfall in Southern Europe during the present century: relationships with the North Atlantic Oscillation and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation
- Cite this article as:
- Rodó, X., Baert, E. & Comín, F. Climate Dynamics (1997) 13: 275. doi:10.1007/s003820050165
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Analysis of data from seventeen rainfall stations in the Iberian Peninsula, Balearic Islands and Northern Africa has revealed significant El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) signals in Europe. Both North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Southern Oscillation (SO) exert an influence on Iberian climate, but at different temporal and spatial scales. Though most of the peninsula is under NAO influence in winter, some stations in the eastern region show no connection with this phenomenon. The same is found for ENSO, with a positively correlated region appearing in the eastern part of Spain, while the rest of the peninsula remains insensitive. The correlation between ENSO and Iberian rainfall has increased towards the end of the present century, with strong positive signals spanning over half of the area studied. The percentage of springtime variability due to ENSO has similarly increased, reaching up to 50% in certain areas.
We also show how there are outstanding climatic sensors of these phenomena such as Lake Gallocanta, which manifests a positive response to ENSO while appears insensitive to NAO. Common long-term patterns are observed between SOI and an inferred lake level series, suggesting a constant influence of the low-frequency component of ENSO throughout the period considered. Lake drying phases every 14 years reflect the impact of this signal, approximately every four ENSO events.