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Coupled ocean-atmosphere dynamics of the 2017 extreme coastal El Nino

TitleCoupled ocean-atmosphere dynamics of the 2017 extreme coastal El Nino
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsPeng Q.H, Xie SP, Wang D.X, Zheng XT, Zhang H
JournalNature Communications
Date Published2019/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2041-1723
Accession NumberWOS:000455954200010
Keywordseastern-pacific; itcz; model; projections; Science & Technology - Other Topics; sea-surface temperature; uncertainty; warm

In March 2017, sea surface temperatures off Peru rose above 28 degrees C, causing torrential rains that affected the lives of millions of people. This coastal warming is highly unusual in that it took place with a weak La Nina state. Observations and ocean model experiments show that the downwelling Kelvin waves caused by strong westerly wind events over the equatorial Pacific, together with anomalous northerly coastal winds, are important. Atmospheric model experiments further show the anomalous coastal winds are forced by the coastal warming. Taken together, these results indicate a positive feedback off Peru between the coastal warming, atmospheric deep convection, and the coastal winds. These coupled processes provide predictability. Indeed, initialized on as early as 1 February 2017, seasonal prediction models captured the extreme rainfall event. Climate model projections indicate that the frequency of extreme coastal El Nino will increase under global warming.

Short TitleNat. Commun.
Student Publication: