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Northern Hemisphere Stratospheric Pathway of Different El Nino Flavors in Stratosphere-Resolving CMIP5 Models
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    Journal of Climate, 30(12), 4351-4371.
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Northern Hemisphere Stratospheric Pathway of Different El Nino Flavors in Stratosphere-Resolving CMIP5 Models
  • Description:
    The Northern Hemisphere (NH) stratospheric signals of eastern Pacific (EP) and central Pacific (CP) El Nino events are investigated in stratosphere-resolving historical simulations from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), together with the role of the stratosphere in driving tropospheric El Nino teleconnections in NH climate. The large number of events in each composite addresses some of the previously reported concerns related to the short observational record. The results shown here highlight the importance of the seasonal evolution of the NH stratospheric signals for understanding the EP and CP surface impacts. CMIP5 models show a significantly warmer and weaker polar vortex during EP El Nino. No significant polar stratospheric response is found during CP El Nino. This is a result of differences in the timing of the intensification of the climatological wave number 1 through constructive interference, which occurs earlier in EP than CP events, related to the anomalous enhancement and earlier development of the Pacific-North American pattern in EP events. The northward extension of the Aleutian low and the stronger and eastward location of the high over eastern Canada during EP events are key in explaining the differences in upward wave propagation between the two types of El Nino. The influence of the polar stratosphere in driving tropospheric anomalies in the North Atlantic European region is clearly shown during EP El Nino events, facilitated by the occurrence of stratospheric summer warmings, the frequency of which is significantly higher in this case. In contrast, CMIP5 results do not support a stratospheric pathway for a remote influence of CP events on NH teleconnections.
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