Seasonal ENSO phase locking in the Kiel Climate Model: The importance of the equatorial cold sea surface temperature bias

Wengel, Christian, Latif, Mojib, Park, Wonsun, Harlaß, Jan and Bayr, Tobias (2018) Seasonal ENSO phase locking in the Kiel Climate Model: The importance of the equatorial cold sea surface temperature bias Climate Dynamics, 50 (3-4). pp. 901-919. DOI 10.1007/s00382-017-3648-3.

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Supplementary data:


The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is characterized by a seasonal phase locking, with strongest eastern and central equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies during boreal winter and weakest SST anomalies during boreal spring. In this study, key feedbacks controlling seasonal ENSO phase locking in the Kiel Climate Model (KCM) are identified by employing Bjerknes index stability analysis. A large ensemble of simulations with the KCM is analyzed, where the individual runs differ in either the number of vertical atmospheric levels or coefficients used in selected atmospheric parameterizations. All integrations use the identical ocean model. The ensemble-mean features realistic seasonal ENSO phase locking. ENSO phase locking is very sensitive to changes in the mean-state realized by the modifications described above. An excessive equatorial cold tongue leads to weak phase locking by reducing the Ekman feedback and thermocline feedback in late boreal fall and early boreal winter. Seasonal ENSO phase locking also is sensitive to the shortwave feedback as part of the thermal damping in early boreal spring, which strongly depends on eastern and central equatorial Pacific SST. The results obtained from the KCM are consistent with those from models participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5).

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Seasonal ENSO phase locking; SST bias; Kiel Climate Model
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-ME Maritime Meteorology
OceanRep > SFB 754
OceanRep > SFB 754 > A1
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00382-017-3648-3
ISSN: 0930-7575
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2017 06:57
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2018 10:32

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