Palaeoclimate reconstructions reveal a strong link between El niño-southern oscillation and tropical pacific mean state

Aleksey Yu Sadekov, Raja Ganeshram, Laetitia Pichevin, Rose Berdin, Erin McClymont, Henry Elderfield, Alexander W. Tudhope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is one of the most important components of the global climate system, but its potential response to an anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO 2 remains largely unknown. One of the major limitations in ENSO prediction is our poor understanding of the relationship between ENSO variability and long-term changes in Tropical Pacific oceanography. Here we investigate this relationship using palaeorecords derived from the geochemistry of planktonic foraminifera. Our results indicate a strong negative correlation between ENSO variability and zonal gradient of sea-surface temperatures across the Tropical Pacific during the last 22 ky. This strong correlation implies a mechanistic link that tightly couples zonal sea-surface temperature gradient and ENSO variability during large climate changes and provides a unique insight into potential ENSO evolution in the future by suggesting enhanced ENSO variability under a global warming scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2692
JournalNature Communications
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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