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Strengthened impact of boreal winter North Pacific Oscillation on ENSO development in warming climate

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThe North Pacific Oscillation (NPO), an important mode of atmospheric variability, is a crucial trigger for the development of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) via the seasonal footprinting mechanism. How the NPO effect on ENSO changes in response to greenhouse warming remains unclear, however. Here, using climate model simulations under high-emission scenarios, we show that greenhouse warming leads to an enhanced influence of NPO on ENSO as is manifested by enhanced responses of winter sea surface temperature (SST), precipitation and wind anomalies in the equatorial Pacific to the preceding winter NPO. The strengthened NPO impact is also reflected in an increased frequency of NPO events that are followed by ENSO events. Warmer background SST enhances the wind-evaporation-SST feedback over the subtropical North Pacific due to a nonlinear SST-evaporation relationship. This strengthens the NPO-generated surface zonal wind anomalies over the equatorial western-central Pacific, which trigger ENSO. Increased impact of winter NPO on ENSO could enable prediction of interannual variability at longer leads.</jats:p>


Acknowledgements: This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants 42175039, and 42230605) and the Natural Science Foundation of Yunnan Province (202302AN360006). We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme, which, through its Working Group on Coupled Modelling, coordinated and promoted CMIP6. We thank the climate modelling groups for producing and making available their model output, the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) for archiving the data and providing access, and the multiple funding agencies that support CMIP6 and ESGF.


37 Earth Sciences, 3708 Oceanography, 3701 Atmospheric Sciences, 3702 Climate Change Science, 13 Climate Action

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npj Climate and Atmospheric Science

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
National Natural Science Foundation of China (National Science Foundation of China) (42230605, 42175039)