El Niño-Southern Oscillation in a Changing Climate

Session ID#: 84246

Session Description:
El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a naturally occurring year-to-year fluctuation of the climate system that is spawned in the tropical Pacific but which has societal and environmental impacts felt worldwide.  The ENSO cycle of warm El Niño and cold La Niña events is occurring today in the context of a climate system that is rapidly changing through human activities that have raised heat trapping greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to unprecedented levels.  The planet has warmed, and will continue to warm, raising questions about whether climate change has affected the ENSO cycle already, or whether it will in the future.  In this presentation, we describe ENSO variability, its climatic consequences, and evidence from recent analyses of the historical record, paleo-reconstructions, and climate models as to whether greenhouse gas forcing has had an impact on the observed ENSO cycle. We will also discuss what the future may hold for ENSO based on climate change model projections. The presentation will conclude with a summary of outstanding research issues that need to be addressed for a better understanding of this critical problem in Earth system science.
  • AI - Air-Sea Interactions
  • PC - Past, Present and Future Climate
  • SI - Social-Ocean Science Interactions and SDGs
Index Terms:

1630 Impacts of global change [GLOBAL CHANGE]
4215 Climate and interannual variability [OCEANOGRAPHY: GENERAL]
4504 Air/sea interactions [OCEANOGRAPHY: PHYSICAL]
Primary Presenter:  Michael J McPhaden, NOAA Seattle, Seattle, WA, United States
Moderators:  Nichole Price, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, East Boothbay, ME, United States and Hadley McIntosh Marcek, University of Maryland Center (UMCES CBL) for Environmental Science Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Solomons, MD, United States

Abstracts Submitted to this Session:

Nonlinear Interaction Between Cold Tongue Mode and El Niño: Weakening of El Niño Bjerknes Feedback (656493)
Danielle Lemmon, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States and Kristopher B Karnauskas, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, United States
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