Revisiting the Pacific Meridional Mode
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Revisiting the Pacific Meridional Mode

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  • Journal Title:
    Scientific Reports
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  • Description:
    Numerous studies demonstrated that the Pacific Meridional Mode (PMM) can excite Central Pacific (CP) El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events and that the PMM is mostly a stochastic phenomenon associated with mid-latitude atmospheric variability and wind-evaporation-SST feedback. Here we show that CP sea surface temperature (SST) variability exhibits high instantaneous correlations both on interannual (ENSO-related) and decadal (Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)-related) timescales with the PMM. By prescribing an idealized interannual equatorial CP ENSO SST forcing in a partially-coupled atmosphere/slab ocean model we are able to generate a realistic instantaneous PMM response consistent with the observed statistical ENSO/PMM relationship. This means that CP ENSO and the PMM can excite each other respectively on interannual timescales, strongly suggesting that a fast positive feedback exists between the two phenomena. Thus, we argue that they cannot be considered two independent dynamical entities. Additionally, we show that the interannual CP ENSO SST forcing generates atmospheric circulation variability that projects strongly on the Aleutian Low and North Pacific SST anomalies that exhibit the characteristic PDO pattern.
  • Source:
    Sci Rep. 2018; 8: 3216.
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  • Rights Information:
    CC BY
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