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Atmosphere 2016, 7(2), 19; doi:10.3390/atmos7020019

ENSO-Related Precipitation and Its Statistical Relationship with the Walker Circulation Trend in CMIP5 AMIP Models

1
Department of Marine Science and Convergent Technology Hanyang University, Ansan 426-791, Korea
2
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-747, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Agus Santoso
Received: 28 November 2015 / Revised: 19 January 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue El Niño Southern Oscillation)
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Abstract

Observational evidence shows that the Walker circulation (WC) in the tropical Pacific has strengthened in recent decades. In this study, we examine the WC trend for 1979–2005 and its relationship with the precipitation associated with the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) using the sea surface temperature (SST)-constrained Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) simulations of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) climate models. All of the 29 models show a strengthening of the WC trend in response to an increase in the SST zonal gradient along the equator. Despite the same SST-constrained AMIP simulations, however, a large diversity is found among the CMIP5 climate models in the magnitude of the WC trend. The relationship between the WC trend and precipitation anomalies (PRCPAs) associated with ENSO (ENSO-related PRCPAs) shows that the longitudinal position of the ENSO-related PRCPAs in the western tropical Pacific is closely related to the magnitude of the WC trend. Specifically, it is found that the strengthening of the WC trend is large (small) in the CMIP5 AMIP simulations in which the ENSO-related PRCPAs are located relatively westward (eastward) in the western tropical Pacific. Therefore, the zonal shift of the ENSO-related precipitation in the western tropical Pacific, which is associated with the climatological mean precipitation in the tropical Pacific, could play an important role in modifying the WC trend in the CMIP5 climate models. View Full-Text
Keywords: walker circulation; ENSO; sea surface temperature; precipitation; CMIP5 climate models walker circulation; ENSO; sea surface temperature; precipitation; CMIP5 climate models
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Yim, B.Y.; Yeh, S.-W.; Sohn, B.-J. ENSO-Related Precipitation and Its Statistical Relationship with the Walker Circulation Trend in CMIP5 AMIP Models. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 19.

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