Climate Dynamics

, Volume 47, Issue 9–10, pp 2867–2884 | Cite as

Interdecadal change in the lagged relationship between the Pacific–South American pattern and ENSO

  • Ruiqiang Ding
  • Jianping Li
  • Yu-heng Tseng
  • Kyung-Ja Ha
  • Sen Zhao
  • June-Yi Lee


A significant interdecadal change in the lagged relationship between the austral summer Pacific–South American (PSA) pattern and the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the following austral summer (the PSA serving as a precursor signature to ENSO events) has been detected by analysis of a 91-year historical record. Strong correlations between the PSA and ENSO occurred during the periods 1956–1975 and 1990–2004 [referred to as the high correlation (HC) periods], but the correlations were weak for the periods 1928–1956 and 1975–1990 [referred to as the low correlation (LC) periods]. Both the processes of surface air–sea coupling in the extratropical/tropical Pacific, and subsurface ocean temperature evolution along the equator associated with the PSA, were found to be stronger during the HC periods than during the LC periods, thereby resulting in a stronger influence of the PSA on the subsequent ENSO during the HC periods. Changes in the PSA–ENSO relationship can be attributed mainly to interdecadal changes in the intensity of the austral summer PSA. The latter was found to have contributions from both the modulation of the Pacific decadal oscillation and long-term variations in the Southern Annular Mode.


ENSO The Pacific–South American (PSA) pattern The Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) 



This research was jointly supported by the China Special Fund for Meteorological Research in the Public Interest (GYHY201306031), the 973 project of China (2012CB955200), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41175069), and the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA11010303). K.-J. Ha and J.Y. Lee were supported by the Global Research Laboratory (GRL) program from the National Research Foundation of Korea (Grant No. 2011-0021927).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruiqiang Ding
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jianping Li
    • 3
    • 4
  • Yu-heng Tseng
    • 5
  • Kyung-Ja Ha
    • 6
    • 7
  • Sen Zhao
    • 1
  • June-Yi Lee
    • 7
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Plateau Atmosphere and Environment Key Laboratory of Sichuan ProvinceChengdu University of Information TechnologyChengduChina
  3. 3.College of Global Change and Earth System Sciences (GCESS)Beijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Joint Center for Global Change StudiesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Climate and Global Dynamics DivisionNCARBoulderUSA
  6. 6.Departmet of Atmospheric SciencesPusan National UniversityBusanKorea
  7. 7.Research Center for Climate SciencesPusan National UniversityBusanKorea

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