Mid-Holocene tropical Pacific climate state, annual cycle, and ENSO in PMIP2 and PMIP3

Soon Il An, Jung Choi

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Using the Paleoclimate Modeling Inter-comparison Project Phase 2 and 3 (PMIP2 and PMIP3), we investigated the tropical Pacific climate state, annual cycle, and El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) during the mid-Holocene period (6,000 years before present; 6 ka run). When the 6 ka run was compared to the control run (0 ka run), the reduced sea surface temperature (SST) and the reduced precipitation due to the basin-wide cooling, and the intensified cross-equatorial surface winds due to the hemispheric discrepancy of the surface cooling over the tropical Pacific were commonly observed in both the PMIP2 and PMIP3, but changes were more dominant in the PMIP3. The annual cycle of SST was weaker over the equatorial eastern Pacific, because of the orbital forcing change and the deepening mixed layer, while it was stronger over the equatorial western pacific in both the PMIP2 and PMIP3. The stronger annual cycle of the equatorial western Pacific SST was accompanied by the intensified annual cycle of the zonal surface wind, which dominated in the PMIP3 in particular. The ENSO activity in the 6 ka run was significantly suppressed in the PMIP2, but marginally reduced in the PMIP3. In general, the weakened air-sea coupling associated with basin-wide cooling, reduced precipitation, and a hemispheric contrast in the climate state led to the suppression of ENSO activity, and the weakening of the annual cycle over the tropical eastern Pacific might lead to the intensification of ENSO through the frequency entrainment. Therefore, the two opposite effects are slightly compensated for by each other, which results in a small reduction in the ENSO activity during the 6 ka in the PMIP3. On the whole, in PMIP2/PMIP3, the variability of canonical (or conventional) El Niño tends to be reduced during 6 ka, while that of CP/Modoki El Niño tends to be intensified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-970
Number of pages14
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the World Climate Research Programme’s Working 15 Group on Coupled Modeling, which is responsible for the CMIP, and the climate modeling groups (listed in Table ) for producing and making available their model output. For the CMIP, the US Department of Energy’s Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison provided coordinating support and led the development of software infrastructure in partnership with the Global Organization for Earth System Science Portals. The PMIP3 Data archive is supported by CEA and CNRS. This work was funded by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant CATER 2012-3043.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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