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《Chinese Journal of Atmospheric Sciences》 2007-06
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A Study of Anomalous Atmosphere-Ocean Currents and the Propagation Mechanism for Warm Signal of Sea Temperature during El Nio Events

ZHANG Qing-Yun1,2 and CHANG Rui2,31 State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics,Institute of Atmospheric Physics,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 1000292 Centre for Disastrous Climate Research and Prediction,Institute of Atmospheric Physics,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 1000293 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100049  
Because of the sparse observation over the ocean, the important problems about the characteristics of the ocean currents and their relationship with the sea temperature anomaly during El Nio events are still not completely resolved,although there already have been a few researchers focused their attentions on this field.In order to deeply investigate the truth behind the puzzles in a new way,this research is based upon the Simple Ocean Data Assimilation(SODA) dataset from 1971 to 2000 and the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis dataset from 1980 to 2000,which are of high resolution and long time scale.Therefore,from the departures point of view,the variations of zonal wind and ocean currents as well as the propagation features of the sea temperature signal during El Nio events have been investigated by composite analysis.In this research,special emphasis is placed on the two main types of El Nio events: the middle-pattern El Nio and the east-pattern El Nio.According to the amplitude of the sea surface temperature anomaly and its characteristics of propagation,the middle-pattern El Nio event is the composite of 1982/1983,1991/1992 and 1997/1998 events and the east-pattern El Nio event is the composite of 1972/1973 and 1976/1977 events.The results show that: (1) In the middle-pattern El Nio event(the anomalous warm water appears first to the west of 120°W) and the east-pattern El Nio event(the anomalous warm water appears first to the east of 120°W),there is a significantly eastward propagation of the strongest western wind anomalies over the western equatorial Pacific Ocean.Besides,the positive(negative) equatorial surface current anomalies are associated with the enhanced(weakened) western wind anomalies.The response of the ocean currents to the zonal wind anomaly has a high correlation with the intensity and the propagation characteristics of the zonal wind anomaly.In the middle-pattern El Nio event,the western wind anomalies are relatively strong,which is favorable for the eastward movement of the positive equatorial surface current anomalies over the western Pacific.Therefore,the intensity of such a El Nio event is relatively strong.(2) In the middle-pattern El Nio event,over the western Pacific,the anomalous downwelling of the equatorial ocean currents caused by the convergence of surface zonal ocean current anomalies suppresses the uprush of the deep cold water,leading to the warm surface water,which also moves eastward with the eastward propagation of the anomalous downwelling.(3) In the east-pattern El Nio event,the anomalous downwelling of the equatorial ocean currents caused by the convergence of surface zonal currents anomalies over the western Pacific Ocean does not move eastward,and the formation of warm water is relevant to the regional(east of 120°W) anomalous downwelling of the equatorial ocean currents caused by the convergence of surface zonal ocean current anomalies,which suppresses the uprush of the deep cold water.This is considerably different from the feature in the middle pattern El Nio event.Besides,based on the analysis of the propagation of the sea surface temperature and ocean currents over the southern Pacific,it is found that the path along which the warm water propagates eastward may be the westerly drift region rather than the climatic equatorial thermal-cline.
【Fund】: 国家重点基础研究发展规划973项目2004CB418303;; 中国科学院知识创新重要方向性项目KZCX3-SW-226;; 国家自然科学基金资助项目40523001
【CateGory Index】: P732.6
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