Impact of ENSO on East Asian winter monsoon during interglacial periods: effect of orbital forcing

Soon Il An, Hyo Jeong Kim, Wonsun Park, Birgit Schneider

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Orbital forcing influences climate phenomena by changing incoming solar radiation in season and latitude. Here, changes in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)’s impact on the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) due to orbital forcing, especially for three selected time periods in each of two interglacial periods, the Eemian (126, 122, 115 ka) and Holocene (9, 6, 0 ka), are investigated. There was a high negative correlation between ENSO and EAWM when the obliquity was low, the processional angle was large, and especially when accompanied by large eccentricity, which corresponds to a weaker monsoon period. The correlation was also high when ENSO variability was high, which interestingly corresponded to lower obliquity and higher-degree precession periods. Therefore, as both lower obliquity and higher-degree precession, such as during 115 ka and 0 ka, cause the EAWM to be weakened through higher winter insolation over Northern hemisphere, and the ENSO to be enhanced through an intensified zonal contrast of the equatorial sea surface temperature, the relationship between the ENSO and EAWM becomes tighter. The opposite case (i.e., during 126 and 9 ka) is also true dynamically. Furthermore, the sensitivity of boreal winter precipitation against sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly over the tropical Pacific, which depends on mean SST, was positively correlated to the strength of the ENSO-EAWM correlation, implying that the warmer mean ocean surface causes the strong response of atmosphere to change in the SST anomaly, thereby enhancing the impact of ENSO on EAWM. Warmer wintertime tropical SST is attributed to higher insolation over the tropics, especially during 115 and 0 ka, while cooler SSTs occurred during 126 and 9 ka.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3209-3219
Number of pages11
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST) NRF-2009-0093069. The model integrations were performed at the Computer Centre at Kiel University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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