Palaeoclimate reconstructions reveal a strong link between El Nino-Southern Oscillation and Tropical Pacific mean state

Sadekov, Aleksey and Ganeshram, Raja and Pichevin, Laetitia and Berdin, Rose and McClymont, Erin and Elderfield, Henry and Tudhope, Alexander W. (2013) Palaeoclimate reconstructions reveal a strong link between El Nino-Southern Oscillation and Tropical Pacific mean state. Nature Communications, 4 (2692). ISSN 2041-1723 DOI 10.1038/ncomms3692

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Official URL: http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2013/131101/ncomms369...

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 CO2 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.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2013AREP; IA66;
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Communications
Volume: 4
Identification Number: 10.1038/ncomms3692
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2013 02:52
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2013 12:54
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2926

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