Intensified ENSO-Driven Precipitation Teleconnections in the Future
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an important driver of regional hydroclimate variability through far-reaching teleconnections. Most climate models project an increase in the frequency of extreme El Niño events under increased greenhouse-gas (GHG) forcing. However, it is unclear how other aspects of ENSO and ENSO-driven teleconnections will evolve in the future. Here, we identify in 20th century sea-surface temperature (SST) observations a time-invariant ENSO-like (ENSOL) pattern that is largely uncontaminated by GHG forcing. We use this pattern to investigate the future precipitation (P) response to ENSO-like SST anomalies. Models that better capture observed ENSOL characteristics produce P teleconnection patterns that are in better accord with observations and more stationary in the 21st century. We decompose the future P response to ENSOL into the sum of three terms: (1) the change in P mean state, (2) the
This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.