Potential tropical Atlantic impacts on Pacific decadal climate trends

Y. Chikamoto, T. Mochizuki, A. Timmermann, M. Kimoto, M. Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The tropical Pacific cooling from the early 1990s to 2013 has contributed to the slowdown of globally averaged sea surface temperatures (SSTs). The origin of this regional cooling trend still remains elusive. Here we demonstrate that the remote impact of Atlantic SST anomalies, as well as local atmosphere-ocean interactions, contributed to the eastern Pacific cooling during this period. By assimilating observed three-dimensional Atlantic temperature and salinity anomalies into a coupled general circulation model, we are able to qualitatively reproduce the observed Pacific decadal trends of SST and sea level pressure (SLP), albeit with reduced amplitude. Although a major part of the Pacific SLP trend can be explained by equatorial Pacific SST forcing only, the origin of this low-frequency variability can be traced back further to the remote impacts of equatorial Atlantic and South Atlantic SST trends. Atlantic SST impacts on the atmospheric circulation can also be detected for the Northeastern Pacific, thus providing a linkage between Atlantic climate and Western North American drought conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7143-7151
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume43
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 16 2016
Externally publishedYes

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sea surface temperature
climate
trends
sea level pressure
cooling
sea level
anomalies
drought
atmospheric circulation
salinity
linkages
temperature anomaly
trend
general circulation model
oceans
low frequencies
anomaly
atmospheres
atmosphere
ocean

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Potential tropical Atlantic impacts on Pacific decadal climate trends. / Chikamoto, Y.; Mochizuki, T.; Timmermann, A.; Kimoto, M.; Watanabe, M.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 43, No. 13, 16.07.2016, p. 7143-7151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chikamoto, Y. ; Mochizuki, T. ; Timmermann, A. ; Kimoto, M. ; Watanabe, M. / Potential tropical Atlantic impacts on Pacific decadal climate trends. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2016 ; Vol. 43, No. 13. pp. 7143-7151.
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