Response of El Niño sea surface temperature variability to greenhouse warming

Seon Tae Kim, Wenju Cai, Fei Fei Jin, Agus Santoso, Lixin Wu, Eric Guilyardi, Soon Il An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The destructive environmental and socio-economic impacts of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) demand an improved understanding of how ENSO will change under future greenhouse warming. Robust projected changes in certain aspects of ENSO have been recently established. However, there is as yet no consensus on the change in the magnitude of the associated sea surface temperature (SST) variability, commonly used to represent ENSO amplitude, despite its strong effects on marine ecosystems and rainfall worldwide. Here we show that the response of ENSO SST amplitude is time-varying, with an increasing trend in ENSO amplitude before 2040, followed by a decreasing trend thereafter. We attribute the previous lack of consensus to an expectation that the trend in ENSO amplitude over the entire twenty-first century is unidirectional, and to unrealistic model dynamics of tropical Pacific SST variability. We examine these complex processes across 22 models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) database, forced under historical and greenhouse warming conditions. The nine most realistic models identified show a strong consensus on the time-varying response and reveal that the non-unidirectional behaviour is linked to a longitudinal difference in the surface warming rate across the Indo-Pacific basin. Our results carry important implications for climate projections and climate adaptation pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)786-790
Number of pages5
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume4
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Sep 11

Fingerprint

Southern Oscillation
sea surface temperature
warming
trend
climate
economic impact
twenty-first century
projection
twenty first century
environmental economics
lack
demand
marine ecosystem
rainfall
time
basin

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Kim, Seon Tae ; Cai, Wenju ; Jin, Fei Fei ; Santoso, Agus ; Wu, Lixin ; Guilyardi, Eric ; An, Soon Il. / Response of El Niño sea surface temperature variability to greenhouse warming. In: Nature Climate Change. 2014 ; Vol. 4, No. 9. pp. 786-790.
@article{8a23c240652a4fcc8e9e51a860167d23,
title = "Response of El Ni{\~n}o sea surface temperature variability to greenhouse warming",
abstract = "The destructive environmental and socio-economic impacts of the El Ni{\~n}o/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) demand an improved understanding of how ENSO will change under future greenhouse warming. Robust projected changes in certain aspects of ENSO have been recently established. However, there is as yet no consensus on the change in the magnitude of the associated sea surface temperature (SST) variability, commonly used to represent ENSO amplitude, despite its strong effects on marine ecosystems and rainfall worldwide. Here we show that the response of ENSO SST amplitude is time-varying, with an increasing trend in ENSO amplitude before 2040, followed by a decreasing trend thereafter. We attribute the previous lack of consensus to an expectation that the trend in ENSO amplitude over the entire twenty-first century is unidirectional, and to unrealistic model dynamics of tropical Pacific SST variability. We examine these complex processes across 22 models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) database, forced under historical and greenhouse warming conditions. The nine most realistic models identified show a strong consensus on the time-varying response and reveal that the non-unidirectional behaviour is linked to a longitudinal difference in the surface warming rate across the Indo-Pacific basin. Our results carry important implications for climate projections and climate adaptation pathways.",
author = "Kim, {Seon Tae} and Wenju Cai and Jin, {Fei Fei} and Agus Santoso and Lixin Wu and Eric Guilyardi and An, {Soon Il}",
year = "2014",
month = "9",
day = "11",
doi = "10.1038/nclimate2326",
language = "English",
volume = "4",
pages = "786--790",
journal = "Nature Climate Change",
issn = "1758-678X",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "9",

}

Kim, ST, Cai, W, Jin, FF, Santoso, A, Wu, L, Guilyardi, E & An, SI 2014, 'Response of El Niño sea surface temperature variability to greenhouse warming', Nature Climate Change, vol. 4, no. 9, pp. 786-790. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2326

Response of El Niño sea surface temperature variability to greenhouse warming. / Kim, Seon Tae; Cai, Wenju; Jin, Fei Fei; Santoso, Agus; Wu, Lixin; Guilyardi, Eric; An, Soon Il.

In: Nature Climate Change, Vol. 4, No. 9, 11.09.2014, p. 786-790.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Response of El Niño sea surface temperature variability to greenhouse warming

AU - Kim, Seon Tae

AU - Cai, Wenju

AU - Jin, Fei Fei

AU - Santoso, Agus

AU - Wu, Lixin

AU - Guilyardi, Eric

AU - An, Soon Il

PY - 2014/9/11

Y1 - 2014/9/11

N2 - The destructive environmental and socio-economic impacts of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) demand an improved understanding of how ENSO will change under future greenhouse warming. Robust projected changes in certain aspects of ENSO have been recently established. However, there is as yet no consensus on the change in the magnitude of the associated sea surface temperature (SST) variability, commonly used to represent ENSO amplitude, despite its strong effects on marine ecosystems and rainfall worldwide. Here we show that the response of ENSO SST amplitude is time-varying, with an increasing trend in ENSO amplitude before 2040, followed by a decreasing trend thereafter. We attribute the previous lack of consensus to an expectation that the trend in ENSO amplitude over the entire twenty-first century is unidirectional, and to unrealistic model dynamics of tropical Pacific SST variability. We examine these complex processes across 22 models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) database, forced under historical and greenhouse warming conditions. The nine most realistic models identified show a strong consensus on the time-varying response and reveal that the non-unidirectional behaviour is linked to a longitudinal difference in the surface warming rate across the Indo-Pacific basin. Our results carry important implications for climate projections and climate adaptation pathways.

AB - The destructive environmental and socio-economic impacts of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) demand an improved understanding of how ENSO will change under future greenhouse warming. Robust projected changes in certain aspects of ENSO have been recently established. However, there is as yet no consensus on the change in the magnitude of the associated sea surface temperature (SST) variability, commonly used to represent ENSO amplitude, despite its strong effects on marine ecosystems and rainfall worldwide. Here we show that the response of ENSO SST amplitude is time-varying, with an increasing trend in ENSO amplitude before 2040, followed by a decreasing trend thereafter. We attribute the previous lack of consensus to an expectation that the trend in ENSO amplitude over the entire twenty-first century is unidirectional, and to unrealistic model dynamics of tropical Pacific SST variability. We examine these complex processes across 22 models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) database, forced under historical and greenhouse warming conditions. The nine most realistic models identified show a strong consensus on the time-varying response and reveal that the non-unidirectional behaviour is linked to a longitudinal difference in the surface warming rate across the Indo-Pacific basin. Our results carry important implications for climate projections and climate adaptation pathways.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84906881093&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84906881093&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/nclimate2326

DO - 10.1038/nclimate2326

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84906881093

VL - 4

SP - 786

EP - 790

JO - Nature Climate Change

JF - Nature Climate Change

SN - 1758-678X

IS - 9

ER -