Warm pool and cold tongue El Niño events as simulated by the GFDL 2.1 coupled GCM

Jong Seong Kug, Jung Choi, Soon Il An, Fei Fei Jin, Andrew T. wittenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

169 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies report that two types of El Niño events have been observed. One is the cold tongue (CT) El Niño, which is characterized by relatively large sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the eastern Pacific, and the other is the warm pool (WP) El Niño, in which SST anomalies are confined to the central Pacific. Here, both types of El Niño events are analyzed in a long-term coupledGCMsimulation. The present model simulates the major observed features of both types of El Niño, incorporating the distinctive patterns of each oceanic and atmospheric variable. It is also demonstrated that each type of El Niño has quite distinct dynamic processes, which control their evolutions. The CT El Niño exhibits strong equatorial heat discharge poleward and thus the dynamical feedbacks control the phase transition from a warm event to a cold event. On the other hand, the discharge process in the WPEl Niño is weak because of its spatial distribution of ocean dynamic field. The positive SST anomaly of WP El Niño is thermally damped through the intensified evaporative cooling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1226-1239
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Warm pool and cold tongue El Niño events as simulated by the GFDL 2.1 coupled GCM'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this