Relationships between ENSO and East Asian-western North Pacific monsoon: observations versus 18 CMIP5 models

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 4:45 PM
Bo Wu, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Beijing, China
The relationships between ENSO and the East Asian-western North Pacific monsoon during ENSO mature winter and decaying summer are studied by examining the pre-industrial control runs of 18 global climate models (GCMs) that participated in the phase five of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). In the observation, the tropical western North Pacific (WNP) is dominated by an anomalous anticyclone (cyclone) during El Niño (La Niña) mature winter, referred to as WNPAC (WNPC). WNPAC is asymmetric with WNPC. Multi-model assessments support the idea that the asymmetry results from the combined effects of the asymmetric remote forcing from the equatorial central-eastern Pacific and the asymmetric local sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies. It has been proposed that the asymmetric circulation anomalies over the tropical WNP have a contribution to the asymmetric decaying rates between El Niño and La Niña. The mechanism works in the CMIP5 models. Those models that can (cannot) simulate the asymmetry between WNPAC and WNPC tend to reproduce ENSO with asymmetric (symmetric) decaying rates. In the observation, WNPAC maintains throughout El Niño decaying summer. The maintenance of WNPAC primarily relies on the local forcing of underlying cold SST anomalies in the early summer, remaining from preceding winter and spring, whereas to remote forcing from the tropical Indian Ocean in the late summer. The two mechanisms are reproduced by the multi-model ensemble mean. The scatter diagrams for the CMIP5 models demonstrate that the response of WNPAC to the remote forcing from the tropical Indian Ocean intensifies from June to July, concurring with the establishment of the climatological WNP monsoon trough.