Influence of retreating Barents–Kara sea ice on the periodicity of El Niño–Southern Oscillation

Eun Sook Heo, Soon Il An, Ida Margrethe Ringgaard, Shuting Yang, Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen, Mi Kyung Sung

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The abrupt decline in sea ice in the Barents–Kara (BK) Sea because of global warming has been argued to influence not only higher latitudes but also the tropics. Using EC-Earth model simulations, we demonstrated that the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) period becomes longer when BK sea ice substantially decreases. As BK sea ice was forcibly reduced through nudging experiments, the mean Walker circulation shifted to the west, and the zonal sea surface temperature contrast in the tropical Pacific was enhanced. Consequently, the western Pacific mean thermocline became deeper, which reduced the sensitivity of oceanic wave response to wind forcing. Therefore, the oceanic Kelvin waves reflected by ENSO-induced surface winds, a primary delayed negative feedback factor, were significantly weakened. Thus, ENSO phases could be sustained for longer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4881-4892
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Chung Mong‐Koo Foundation; European Commission, Grant/Award Number: 727852; National Research Foundation of Korea, Grant/Award Numbers: NRF‐2018R1A5A1024958, NRF‐2017K1A3A7A03087790 Funding information

Funding Information:
This study was supported by two National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grants funded by the Korean government (NRF‐2017K1A3A7A03087790 and NRF‐2018R1A5A1024958). The work of Eun‐Sook Heo was sponsored by the Hyundai Motor Chung Mong‐Koo Foundation. This research was further funded by the European Commission (the Blue‐Action Project, falling under the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program, contract #727852). The data used in this study were obtained from a previous study by Ringgaard . ( 2020 ). et al

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Royal Meteorological Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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