Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 495–506 | Cite as

ENSO Frequency Asymmetry and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation in Observations and 19 CMIP5 Models

  • Renping Lin
  • Fei ZhengEmail author
  • Xiao Dong
Original Paper


Using observational data and the pre-industrial simulations of 19 models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), the El Niño (EN) and La Niña (LN) events in positive and negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) phases are examined. In the observational data, with EN (LN) events the positive (negative) SST anomaly in the equatorial eastern Pacific is much stronger in positive (negative) PDO phases than in negative (positive) phases. Meanwhile, the models cannot reasonably reproduce this difference. Besides, the modulation of ENSO frequency asymmetry by the PDO is explored. Results show that, in the observational data, EN is 300% more (58% less) frequent than LN in positive (negative) PDO phases, which is significant at the 99% confidence level using the Monte Carlo test. Most of the CMIP5 models exhibit results that are consistent with the observational data.


ENSO frequency asymmetry Pacific Decadal Oscillation decadal variation Monte Carlo method CMIP5 


本文利用观测资料和CMIP5多模式比较计划的19个模式的工业革命前参照试验数据, 分析了耦合模式对北太平洋年代际振荡(PDO)正负位相下El Niño和La Niña的模拟, 以及ENSO发生频率和PDO位相的关系. 观测中El Niño(La Niña)导致的赤道中东太平洋增温(降温)在PDO正(负)位相下强于负(正)位相, 模式并不能很好地模拟出这种差异. 对于ENSO发生频率在正负PDO位相下的不对称性, 观测显示在PDO正(负)位相下El Niño比La Niña多300%(少58%), 这个结果超过了99%的蒙特卡洛显著性检验. 多模式结果一致反映了观测中的这种现象, 也表明该结果是可信的.


ENSO发生频率的不对称性 北太平洋年代际振荡 年代际变化 蒙特卡罗方法 CMIP5模式 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



We appreciate the suggestions and comments from the two anonymous reviewers and the Editor, which helped to improve the quality of the original paper. This work was jointly supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFA0604201), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41576019, 41606027 and 41706028), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No. 2015M571095).


  1. Allan, R., and T. Ansell, 2006: A new globally complete monthly historical gridded mean sea level pressure dataset (HadSLP2): 1850-2004. J. Climate, 19, 5816–5842, Scholar
  2. An, S. I., and B. Wang, 2000: Interdecadal change of the structure of the ENSO mode and its impact on the ENSO frequency. J. Climate, 13, 2044–2055, (2000)013<2044:ICOTSO>2.0.CO;2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barnett, T. P., D. W. Pierce, M. Latif, D. Dommenget, and R. Saravanan, 1999: Interdecadal interactions between the tropics and midlatitudes in the Pacific basin. Geophys. Res. Lett., 26, 615–618, Scholar
  4. Bjerknes, J., 1969: Atmospheric teleconnections from the equatorial Pacific. Mon. Wea. Rev., 97(3), 163–172,<0163:ATFTEP>2.3.CO;2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chu, P. S., and J. X. Wang, 1997: Tropical cyclone occurrences in the vicinity of Hawaii: Are the differences between El Niño and non-El Niño years significant? J. Climate, 10(10), 2683–2689, (1997)010<2683:TCOITV>2.0.CO;2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dong, X., and F. Xue, 2016: Phase transition of the Pacific decadal oscillation and decadal variation of the East Asian summer monsoon in the 20th century. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 33(3), 330–338, 10.1007/s00376-015-5130-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dong, X., R. P. Lin, J. Zhu, and Z. T. Lu, 2016: Evaluation of ocean data assimilation in CAS-ESM-C: Constraining the SST field. Adv. Atmos. Sci., 33(7), 795–807, Scholar
  8. Feng, J., L. Wang, and W. Chen, 2014: How does the East Asian summer monsoon behave in the decaying phase of El Niño during different PDO phases? J. Climate, 27, 2682–2698, Scholar
  9. Jin, F. F., 1997: An equatorial ocean recharge paradigm for ENSO. Part I: Conceptual model. J. Atmos. Sci., 54(7), 811–829,<0811: AEORPF>2.0.CO;2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kalnay, E., and Coauthors, 1996: The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77(3), 437–472,<0437: TNYRP>2.0.CO;2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kravtsov, S., 2011: An empirical model of decadal ENSO variability. Climate Dyn., 39(9–10), 2377–2391, Scholar
  12. Lengaigne, M., E. Guilyardi, J. P. Boulanger, C. Menkes, P. Delecluse, P. Inness, J. Cole, and J. Slingo, 2004: Triggering of El Niño by westerly wind events in a coupled general circulation model. Climate Dyn., 23(6), 601–620, Scholar
  13. Lin, R., J. Zhu, and F. Zheng, 2016: Decadal shifts of East Asian summer monsoon in a climate model free of explicit GHGs and aerosols. Scientific Reports, 6, 38546, Scholar
  14. Mantua, N. J., S. R. Hare, Y. Zhang, J. M. Wallace, and R. C. Francis, 1997: A Pacific interdecadal climate oscillation with impacts on salmon production. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 78, 1069–1079, <1069:APICOW>2.0.CO;2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Newman, M., and Coauthors, 2016: The Pacific decadal oscillation, revisited. J. Climate, 29(12), 4399–4427, Scholar
  16. Pierce, D. W., T. P. Barnett, and M. Latif, 2000: Connections between the Pacific Ocean tropics and midlatitudes on decadal time scales. J. Climate, 13, 1173–1194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Shakun, J. D., and J. Shaman, 2009: Tropical origins of North and South Pacific decadal variability. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L19711, Scholar
  18. Smith, T. M., R. W. Reynolds, T. C. Peterson, and J. Lawrimore, 2008: Improvements to NOAA’s historical merged land–ocean surface temperature analysis (1880-2006). J. Climate, 21, 2283–2296, Scholar
  19. Taylor, K. E., R. J. Stouffer, and G. A. Meehl, 2012: An overview of CMIP5 and the experiment design. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 93, 485–498, Scholar
  20. Timmermann, A., 2003: Decadal ENSO amplitude modulations: A nonlinear paradigm. Global and Planetary Change, 37(1–2), 135–156, Scholar
  21. Trenberth, K. E., J. M. Caron, D. P. Stepaniak, and S. Worley, 2002: Evolution of El Niño–Southern Oscillation and global atmospheric surface temperatures. J. Geophys. Res., 107, 4065, 10.1029/2000JD000298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Verdon, D. C., and S. W. Franks, 2006: Long-term behaviour of ENSO: interactions with the PDO over the past 400 years inferred from paleoclimate records. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33(6), L06712, Scholar
  23. Wang, B., and S. I. An, 2002: A mechanism for decadal changes of ENSO behavior: Roles of background wind changes. Climate Dyn., 18, 475–486, Scholar
  24. Wang, C. Z., and J. Picaut, 2004: Understanding ENSO physics—a review. Earth’s Climate: The Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction, C. Wang et al., Eds., American Geophysical Union, 21–48, Scholar
  25. Wang, H., A. Kumar, W. Q. Wang, and Y. Xue, 2012: Influence of ENSO on Pacific decadal variability: An analysis based on the NCEP climate forecast system. J. Climate, 25, 6136–6151, Scholar
  26. Yeh, S. W., and B. P. Kirtman, 2005: Pacific decadal variability and decadal ENSO amplitude modulation. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32(5), L05703, Scholar
  27. Yeh, S. W., J. G. Jhun, I. S. Kang, and B. P. Kirtman, 2004: The decadal ENSO variability in a hybrid coupled model. J. Climate, 17(6), 1225–1238,<1225:TDEVIA>2.0.CO;2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Chinese National Committee for International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological DisastersNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations