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Increased El Niño frequency in a climate model forced by future greenhouse warming

Increased El Niño frequency in a climate model forced by future greenhouse warming The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is the strongest natural interannual climate fluctuation 1 . ENSO originates in the tropical Pacific Ocean and has large effects on the ecology of the region, but it also influences the entire global climate system and affects the societies and economies of manycountries 2 . ENSO can be understood as an irregular low-frequency oscillation between a warm (El Niño) and a cold (La Niña) state. The strong El Niños of 1982/1983 and 1997/1998, along with the more frequent occurrences of El Niños during the past few decades, raise the question of whether human-induced ‘greenhouse’ warming affects, or will affect, ENSO 3 . Several global climate models have been applied to transient greenhouse-gas-induced warming simulations to address this question 4,6 , but the results have been debated owing to the inability of the models to fully simulate ENSO (because of their coarse equatorial resolution) 7 . Here we present results from a global climate model with sufficient resolution in the tropics to adequately represent the narrow equatorial upwelling and low-frequency waves. When the model is forced by a realistic future scenario of increasing greenhouse-gas concentrations, more frequent El-Niño-like conditions and stronger cold events in the tropical Pacific Ocean result. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Springer Journals

Increased El Niño frequency in a climate model forced by future greenhouse warming

Nature , Volume 398 (6729) – Apr 22, 1999

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References (22)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 by Macmillan Magazines Ltd.
Subject
Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, multidisciplinary; Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, multidisciplinary; Science, multidisciplinary
ISSN
0028-0836
eISSN
1476-4687
DOI
10.1038/19505
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is the strongest natural interannual climate fluctuation 1 . ENSO originates in the tropical Pacific Ocean and has large effects on the ecology of the region, but it also influences the entire global climate system and affects the societies and economies of manycountries 2 . ENSO can be understood as an irregular low-frequency oscillation between a warm (El Niño) and a cold (La Niña) state. The strong El Niños of 1982/1983 and 1997/1998, along with the more frequent occurrences of El Niños during the past few decades, raise the question of whether human-induced ‘greenhouse’ warming affects, or will affect, ENSO 3 . Several global climate models have been applied to transient greenhouse-gas-induced warming simulations to address this question 4,6 , but the results have been debated owing to the inability of the models to fully simulate ENSO (because of their coarse equatorial resolution) 7 . Here we present results from a global climate model with sufficient resolution in the tropics to adequately represent the narrow equatorial upwelling and low-frequency waves. When the model is forced by a realistic future scenario of increasing greenhouse-gas concentrations, more frequent El-Niño-like conditions and stronger cold events in the tropical Pacific Ocean result.

Journal

NatureSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 22, 1999

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