ENSO suppression due to weakening of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation

Timmermann, Axel, An, S.-I., Krebs, Uta and Goosse, H. (2005) ENSO suppression due to weakening of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation Journal of Climate, 18 . pp. 2842-2859. DOI 10.1175/JCLI3495.1.

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Changes of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) excite wave patterns that readjust the thermocline globally. This paper examines the impact of a freshwater-induced THC shutdown on the depth of the Pacific thermocline and its subsequent modification of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability using an intermediate-complexity global coupled atmosphere–ocean–sea ice model and an intermediate ENSO model, respectively. It is shown by performing a numerical eigenanalysis and transient simulations that a THC shutdown in the North Atlantic goes along with reduced ENSO variability because of a deepening of the zonal mean tropical Pacific thermocline. A transient simulation also exhibits abrupt changes of ENSO behavior, depending on the rate of THC change. The global oceanic wave adjustment mechanism is shown to play a key role also on multidecadal time scales. Simulated multidecadal global sea surface temperature (SST) patterns show a large degree of similarity with previous climate reconstructions, suggesting that the observed pan-oceanic variability on these time scales is brought about by oceanic waves and by atmospheric teleconnections.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Peer-rev
Research affiliation: OceanRep > Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1175/JCLI3495.1
ISSN: 0894-8755
Projects: SFB460
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:50
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2017 08:49
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/7249

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