Influence of Springtime Atlantic SST on ENSO: Role of the Madden–Julian Oscillation


  • Increased evidence has shown the important role of Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) in modulating the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Persistent anomalies of summer Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) act to link the Atlantic SST anomalies (SSTAs) to ENSO. The Atlantic SSTAs are strongly correlated with the persistent anomalies of summer MJO, and possibly affect MJO in two major ways. One is that an anomalous cyclonic (anticyclonic) circulation appears over the tropical Atlantic Ocean associated with positive (negative) SSTA in spring, and it intensifies (weakens) the Walker circulation. Equatorial updraft anomaly then appears over the Indian Ocean and the eastern Pacific Ocean, intensifying MJO activity over these regions. The other involves a high pressure (low pressure) anomaly associated with the North Atlantic SSTA tripole pattern that is transmitted to the mid- and low-latitudes by a circumglobal teleconnection pattern, leading to strong (weak) convective activity of MJO over the Indian Ocean. The above results offer new viewpoints about the process from springtime Atlantic SSTA signals to summertime atmospheric oscillation, and then to the MJO of tropical atmosphere affecting wintertime Pacific ENSO events, which connects different oceans.
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