, Volume 111, Issue 3-4, pp 601-607
Date: 22 Jun 2012

Quantifying the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) coupling to CO2 concentration and to the length of day variations

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Abstract

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the Earth’s strongest climate fluctuation on inter-annual time scales and has global impacts although originating in the tropical Pacific. Many point indices have been developed to describe ENSO but the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) is considered as the most representative since it links six different meteorological parameters measured over the tropical Pacific. Extreme values of MEI are correlated to the extreme values of atmospheric CO2 concentration rate variations and negatively correlated to equivalent scale extreme values of the length of day rate variation. We evaluate a first-order conversion function between MEI and the other two indexes using their annual rate of variation. The quantification of the strength of the coupling herein evaluated provides a quantitative measure to test the accuracy of theoretical model predictions. Our results further confirm the idea that the major local and global Earth–atmosphere system mechanisms are significantly coupled and synchronized to each other at multiple scales.