Recent enhancement of central Pacific El Nino variability relative to last eight centuries
Cobb, Kim M.
Leavitt, Steven W.
Linderholm, Hans W.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Tree Ring Res Lab
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PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
CitationRecent enhancement of central Pacific El Nino variability relative to last eight centuries 2017, 8:15386 Nature Communications
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AbstractThe far-reaching impacts of central Pacific El Nino events on global climate differ appreciably from those associated with eastern Pacific El Nino events. Central Pacific El Nino events may become more frequent in coming decades as atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations rise, but the instrumental record of central Pacific sea-surface temperatures is too short to detect potential trends. Here we present an annually resolved reconstruction of NINO4 sea-surface temperature, located in the central equatorial Pacific, based on oxygen isotopic time series from Taiwan tree cellulose that span from 1190 AD to 2007 AD. Our reconstruction indicates that relatively warm Nino4 sea-surface temperature values over the late twentieth century are accompanied by higher levels of interannual variability than observed in other intervals of the 818-year-long reconstruction. Our results imply that anthropogenic greenhouse forcing may be driving an increase in central Pacific El Nino-Southern Oscillation variability and/or its hydrological impacts, consistent with recent modelling studies.
VersionFinal published version
Sponsors973 Program [2013CB955900]; Key Project of IEECAS; NOAA C2C2 Award [NA11OAR4310165]; NSF [OCE-1446274, OCE-1446343]; Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science [23242047, 26244049]; National Taiwan University [105R7625]; [QYZDJ-SSW-DQC021]; [NSFC41371221]; [NSFC41630531]; [CASXDA05080202]; [104-2119-M-002-003]