Warm Pool and Cold Tongue El Niño Events as Simulated by the GFDL 2.1 Coupled GCM

Jong-Seong Kug, Jung Choi, Soon-Il An, Fei-Fei Jin, Andrew T. Wittenberg
2010 Journal of Climate  
Recent studies report that two types of El Niñ o events have been observed. One is the cold tongue (CT) El Niñ o, which is characterized by relatively large sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the eastern Pacific, and the other is the warm pool (WP) El Niñ o, in which SST anomalies are confined to the central Pacific. Here, both types of El Niñ o events are analyzed in a long-term coupled GCM simulation. The present model simulates the major observed features of both types of El Niñ o,
more » ... ypes of El Niñ o, incorporating the distinctive patterns of each oceanic and atmospheric variable. It is also demonstrated that each type of El Niñ o has quite distinct dynamic processes, which control their evolutions. The CT El Niñ o exhibits strong equatorial heat discharge poleward and thus the dynamical feedbacks control the phase transition from a warm event to a cold event. On the other hand, the discharge process in the WP El Niñ o is weak because of its spatial distribution of ocean dynamic field. The positive SST anomaly of WP El Niñ o is thermally damped through the intensified evaporative cooling.
doi:10.1175/2009jcli3293.1 fatcat:6uukivns3jfr5l7tyaawkxadx4