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Mechanism for asymmetric atmospheric responses in the western North Pacific to El Niño and La Niña

  • Xiaohui Wang
  • Tim LiEmail author
  • Mingcheng Chen
Article

Abstract

The cause of asymmetric atmospheric circulation responses over the tropical western North Pacific (WNP) to El Niño and La Niña was investigated through observational analyses and idealized modeling experiments. Firstly, column integrated moisture and moist static energy budget analyses were carried out to reveal the cause of asymmetric precipitation anomalies over the WNP. The result indicates that negative nonlinear moist enthalpy advection anomalies occur in both El Niño and La Niña, and they tend to induce a negative precipitation anomaly in the key WNP region and thus an anomalous anticyclone during both El Niño and La Niña winters. This, together with linear moist enthalpy advection, results in an asymmetric atmospheric circulation response. Secondly, the relative roles of the nonlinear moist enthalpy advection and the zonal shift of longitudinal location of anomalous heating over the central-eastern Pacific between El Niño and La Niña were investigated through an anomaly general circulation model. It is found that both the nonlinear advection and the zonally asymmetric heating contribute equally to the observed zonal shift of the anomalous WNP anticyclonic and cyclonic circulation centers between El Niño and La Niña.

Keywords

Asymmetry El Niño La Niña Moist enthalpy Moist static energy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by NSFC key project 41630423, National Basic Research Program 2015CB453200, NSF Grant AGS-1565653, NOAA Grant NA18OAR4310298, and NSFC Grant 41875069. This is SOEST contribution number 10679, IPRC contribution number 1374, and ESMC contribution number 257.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education (KLME), Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Change (ILCEC), Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters (CIC-FEMD)Nanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.International Pacific Research Center, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Ocean and Earth Science and TechnologyUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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