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Indo-western Pacific ocean capacitor and coherent climate anomalies in post-ENSO summer: A review

Abstract

ENSO induces coherent climate anomalies over the Indo-western Pacific, but these anomalies outlast SST anomalies of the equatorial Pacific by a season, with major effects on the Asian summer monsoon. This review provides historical accounts of major milestones and synthesizes recent advances in the endeavor to understand summer variability over the Indo-Northwest Pacific region. Specifically, a large-scale anomalous anticyclone (AAC) is a recurrent pattern in post-El Ni˜no summers, spanning the tropical Northwest Pacific and North Indian oceans. Regarding the ocean memory that anchors the summer AAC, competing hypotheses emphasize either SST cooling in the easterly trade wind regime of the Northwest Pacific or SST warming in the westerly monsoon regime of the North Indian Ocean. Our synthesis reveals a coupled ocean–atmosphere mode that builds on both mechanisms in a two-stage evolution. In spring, when the northeast trades prevail, the AAC and Northwest Pacific cooling are coupled via wind–evaporation–SST feedback. The Northwest Pacific cooling persists to trigger a summer feedback that arises from the interaction of the AAC and North Indian Ocean warming, enabled by the westerly monsoon wind regime. This Indo-western Pacific ocean capacitor (IPOC) effect explains why El Ni˜no stages its last act over the monsoonal Indo-Northwest Pacific and casts the Indian Ocean warming and AAC in leading roles. The IPOC displays interdecadal modulations by the ENSO variance cycle, significantly correlated with ENSO at the turn of the 20th century and after the 1970s, but not in between. Outstanding issues, including future climate projections, are also discussed.

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Xie, SP., Kosaka, Y., Du, Y. et al. Indo-western Pacific ocean capacitor and coherent climate anomalies in post-ENSO summer: A review. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 33, 411–432 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-015-5192-6

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Keywords

  • Indian Ocean
  • western Pacific ocean–atmosphere interaction
  • ENSO
  • Asian monsoon