An asymmetric rainfall response to ENSO in East Asia
This study explores the impact of El Niño and La Niña events on precipitation and circulation in East Asia. The results are based on statistical analysis of various observational datasets and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory’s (GFDL’s) global climate model experiments. Multiple observational datasets and certain models show that in the southeastern coast of China, precipitation exhibits a nonlinear response to Central Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies during boreal deep fall/early winter. Higher mean rainfall is observed during both El Niño and La Niña events compared to the ENSO-Neutral phase, by an amount of approximately 0.4–0.5 mm/day on average per oC change. We argue that, in October to December, while the precipitation increases during El Niño are the result of anomalous onshore moisture fluxes, those during La Niña are driven by the persistence of terrestrial moisture anomalies resulting from earlier excess rainfall in this region. This is consistent with the nonlinear extreme rainfall behavior in coastal southeastern China, which increases during both ENSO phases and becomes more severe during El Niño than La Niña events.
The authors would like to thank Fanrong Zeng for conducting the CM2.1 simulations relevant for this study, and to Thomas Delworth and Will Cooke for the development of the LOAR model. This work is supported in part by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Grants NA14OAR4830101 and NA14OAR4320106.
- Adler RF, Huffman GJ, Chang A, Ferraro R, Xie PP, Janowiak J, Rudolf B, Schneider U, Curtis S, Bolvin D, Gruber A (2003) The version-2 global precipitation climatology project (GPCP) monthly precipitation analysis (1979–present). J Hydrometeorol 4(6):1147–1167. https://doi.org/10.1175/1525-7541(2003)004,1147:TVGPCP.2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Delworth TL, Broccoli AJ, Rosati A, Stouffer RJ, Balaji V, Beesley JA, Cooke WF, Dixon KW, Dunne J, Dunne KA, Durachta JW (2006) GFDL’s CM2 global coupled climate models. Part I: formulation and simulation characteristics. J Clim 19(5):643–674. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI3629.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Delworth TL, Rosati A, Anderson W, Adcroft AJ, Balaji V, Benson R, Dixon K, Griffies SM, Lee HC, Pacanowski RC, Vecchi GA (2012) Simulated climate and climate change in the GFDL CM2. 5 high-resolution coupled climate model. J Clim 25(8):2755–2781. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00316.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hoerling MP, Kumar A, Zhong M (1997) El Niño, La Niña, and the nonlinearity of their teleconnections. J Clim 10(8):1769–1786. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(1997)010<1769:ENOLNA>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Jia L, Yang X, Vecchi GA, Gudgel RG, Delworth TL, Rosati A, Stern WF, Wittenberg AT, Krishnamurthy L, Zhang S, Msadek R (2015) Improved seasonal prediction of temperature and precipitation over land in a high-resolution GFDL climate model. J Clim 28(5):2044–2062. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00112.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Larkin NK, Harrison DE (2002) ENSO warm (El Niño) and cold (La Niña) event life cycles: ocean surface anomaly patterns, their symmetries, asymmetries, and implications. J Clim 15(10):1118–1140. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(2002)015,1118:EWENOA.2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Murakami H, Vecchi GA, Underwood S, Delworth TL, Wittenberg AT, Anderson WG, Chen JH, Gudgel RG, Harris LM, Lin SJ, Zeng F (2015) Simulation and prediction of category 4 and 5 hurricanes in the high-resolution GFDL HiFLOR coupled climate model. J Clim 28(23):9058–9079. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0216.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rayner NA, Parker DE, Horton EB, Folland CK, Alexander LV, Rowell DP, Kent EC, Kaplan A (2003) Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century. J Geophys Res Atmos 108(D14):4407. https://doi.org/10.1029/2002JD002670 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Willmott CJ, Matsuura K (2001) Terrestrial air temperature and precipitation: monthly and annual time series (1950–1999). Center for Climate Research, Version 1. http://climate.geog.udel.edu/~climate/html_pages/README.ghcn_ts2.html