Climate Dynamics

, Volume 43, Issue 7–8, pp 2197–2205 | Cite as

Locally and remotely forced atmospheric circulation anomalies of Ningaloo Niño/Niña



A recently identified climate mode called Ningaloo Niño (Niña) is associated with positive (negative) sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies off the west coast of Australia and negative (positive) sea level pressure (SLP) anomalies in the overlying atmosphere. By conducting a series of numerical experiments with an atmospheric general circulation model, generation mechanisms of the atmospheric circulation anomalies accompanied by Ningaloo Niño/Niña are examined. Even when SST is allowed to vary interannually only in the eastern South Indian Ocean, negative (positive) SLP anomalies are formed off the west coast of Australia in Ningaloo Niño (Niña) years, supporting the existence of local ocean–atmosphere interaction. When the model is forced by SST anomalies outside of the eastern South Indian Ocean, negative (positive) SLP anomalies are also generated in Ningaloo Niño (Niña) years owing to a Matsuno–Gill type response to atmospheric convection anomalies in the tropical Pacific. It is found that the latter impact is stronger in the current atmospheric general circulation model. Regarding climatic impacts, it is shown that Ningaloo Niño (Niña) induces wet (dry) anomalies over the northwestern part of Australia even when SST anomalies outside of the eastern South Indian Ocean are excluded from the SST forcing.


Ningaloo Niño/Niña Interannual variation Southeastern Indian Ocean Atmospheric general circulation model 



Constructive comments from three anonymous reviewers helped us to improve our manuscript. The AGCM was run on the supercomputers of Information Technology Center, the University of Tokyo under the cooperative research with Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo. The NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data and GPCC precipitation data are provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their web site at NOAA_ERSST_V3 data provided by the NOAA/OAR/ESRL PSD, Boulder, Colorado, USA, from their web site at The second author is supported by Research Fellowship of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) for Young Scientists and the Program for Leading Graduate Schools, MEXT, Japan.


  1. Clarke AJ (1991) On the reflection and transmission of low-frequency energy at the irregular western Pacific Ocean boundary. J Geophys Res 96:3289–3305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Clarke AJ, Liu X (1994) Interannual sea level in the northern and eastern Indian Ocean. J Phys Oceanogr 24:1224–1235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Depczynski M, Gilmour JP, Ridgway T, Barnes H, Heyward AJ, Holmes TH, Moore JAY, Radford BT, Thomson DP, Tinkler P, Wilson SK (2013) Bleaching, coral mortality and subsequent survivorship on a West Australian fringing reef. Coral Reefs. doi: 10.1007/s00338-012-0974-0 Google Scholar
  4. Doi T, Tozuka T, Yamagata T (2010) The Atlantic Meridional Mode and its coupled variability with the Guinea Dome. J Clim 23:455–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Doi T, Behera SK, Yamagata T (2013) Predictability of the Ningaloo Niño. Sci Rep 3:2892. doi: 10.1038/srep02892 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Emanuel K (1991) A scheme for representing cumulus convection in large-scale models. J Atmos Sci 48:2313–2335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Feng M, McPhaden MJ, Xie SP, Hafner J (2013) La Niña forces unprecedented Leeuwin Current warming in 2011. Sci Rep 3:1277. doi: 10.1038/srep01277 Google Scholar
  8. Gill AE (1980) Some simple solutions for heat-induced tropical circulation. Q J R Meteor Soc 106:447–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Guan Z, Iizuka S, Chiba M, Yamane S, Ashok K, Honda M, Yamagata T (2000) Frontier atmospheric general circulation model version 1.0 (FrAM1.0): model climatology. Technical report FTR-1, 27 ppGoogle Scholar
  10. Hendon HH, Thompson DW, Wheeler MC (2007) Australian rainfall and surface temperature variations associated with the Southern Hemisphere annular mode. J Clim 20:2452–2467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hurrell JW, Hack JJ, Shea D, Caron JM, Rosinski J (2008) Sea surface temperature and sea ice boundary dataset for the Community Atmosphere Model. J Clim 21:5145–5153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kajikawa Y, Wang B, Yang J (2009) A multi-time scale Australian monsoon index. Int J Climatol 30:1114–1120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kalnay E et al (1996) The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull Am Meteor Soc 77:437–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kataoka T, Tozuka T, Behera SK, Yamagata T (2013) On the Ningaloo Niño/Niña. Clim Dyn. doi: 10.1007/s00382-013-1961-z Google Scholar
  15. Matsuno T (1966) Quasi-geostrophic motions in the equatorial area. J Meteor Soc Jpn 44:25–43Google Scholar
  16. Meyers G (1996) Variation of the Indonesian through flow and the El Niño Southern Oscillation. J Geophys Res 101:12255–12263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Palmer TN, Shutts GJ, Swinbank R (1986) Alleviation of systematic westerly bias in general circulation and numerical weather prediction models through an orographic gravity wave drag parameterization. Q J R Meteor Soc 112:1001–1039CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pearce AF, Feng M (2013) The rise and fall of the “marine heat wave” off Western Australia during the summer of 2010/2011. J Mar Sys 111–112:139–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schneider U, Becker A, Finger P, Meyer-Christoffer A, Rudolf B, Ziese M (2011) GPCC full data reanalysis version 6.0 at 1.0°: monthly land-surface precipitation from rain-gauges built on GTS-based and historic data. doi: 10.5676/DWD_GPCC/FD_M_V6_100
  20. Smith TM, Reynolds RW, Peterson TC, Lawrimore J (2008) Improvements to NOAA’s historical merged land-ocean surface temperature analysis (1880–2006). J Clim 21:2283–2296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Tozuka T, Miyasaka T, Chakraborty A, Mujumdar M, Behera SK, Masumoto Y, Nakamura H, Yamagata T (2006) University of Tokyo coupled general circulation model (UTCM1.0). Ocean Atmos Res Rep 7Google Scholar
  22. Tozuka T, Doi T, Miyasaka T, Keenlyside N, Yamagata T (2011) Key factors in simulating the equatorial Atlantic zonal SST gradient in a coupled GCM. J Geophys Res 116:C06010. doi: 10.1029/2010JC006717 Google Scholar
  23. Tozuka T, Abiodun BJ, Engelbrecht FA (2013) Impacts of convection schemes on simulating tropical-temperate troughs over southern Africa. Clim Dyn. doi: 10.1007/s00382-013-1738-4 Google Scholar
  24. Uppala SM et al (2005) The ERA-40 re-analysis. Q J R Meteorol Soc 131B:2961–3012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Visbeck M (2009) A station-based Southern annular mode index from 1884 to 2005. J Clim 22:940–950CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Viterbo P, Beljaars ACM (1995) An improved land surface parameterization scheme in the ECMWF model and its validation. Res Dep Tech Rep 75Google Scholar
  27. Yuan C, Tozuka T, Yamagata T (2012) IOD influence on the early winter Tibetan Plateau snow cover: diagnostic analyses and an AGCM simulation. Clim Dyn 39:1643–1660CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomoki Tozuka
    • 1
  • Takahito Kataoka
    • 1
  • Toshio Yamagata
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of ScienceThe University of TokyoBunkyo-kuJapan
  2. 2.Application LaboratoryJAMSTECYokohamaJapan

Personalised recommendations