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Role of climate feedback in El Nino-Like SST response to global warming

TitleRole of climate feedback in El Nino-Like SST response to global warming
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSong X.L, Zhang GJ
JournalJournal of Climate
Date Published2014/10
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0894-8755
Accession NumberWOS:000342840400008
KeywordsAnthropogenic effects; atmosphere model; Atmosphere-ocean interaction; climate change; convection; El; enso; equatorial pacific; feedback; general-circulation model; Nino; ocean; parameterization; sea-surface temperature; Surface temperature; teleconnections; tropical pacific

Under global warming from the doubling of CO2, the equatorial Pacific experiences an El Nino-like warming, as simulated by most global climate models. A new climate feedback and response analysis method (CFRAM) is applied to 10 years of hourly output of the slab ocean model (SOM) version of the NCAR Community Climate System Model, version 3.0, (CCSM3-SOM) to determine the processes responsible for this warming. Unlike the traditional surface heat budget analysis, the CFRAM can explicitly quantify the contributions of each radiative climate feedback and of each physical and dynamical process of a GCM to temperature changes. The mean bias in the sum of partial SST changes due to each feedback derived with CFRAM in the tropical Pacific is negligible (0.5%) compared to the mean SST change from the CCSM3-SOM simulations, with a spatial pattern correlation of 0.97 between the two. The analysis shows that the factors contributing to the El Nino-like SST warming in the central Pacific are different from those in the eastern Pacific. In the central Pacific, the largest contributor to El Nino-like SST warming is dynamical advection, followed by PBL diffusion, water vapor feedback, and surface evaporation. In contrast, in the eastern Pacific the dominant contributor to El Nino-like SST warming is cloud feedback, with water vapor feedback further amplifying the warming.

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