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Open AccessArticle

Symmetry of Energy Divergence Anomalies Associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation

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Institute of Water Security and Science. 3107 Agricultural Sciences Building, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
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Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. 4121 Agricultural Sciences Building, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
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Institute of Water Security and Science. 4121 Agricultural Sciences Building, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
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Fitzgerald Hall 016, School of Education, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO 63103, USA
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Department of Atmospheric Sciences, 302-E ABNR Building, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65201, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2018, 9(9), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9090342
Received: 10 July 2018 / Revised: 25 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a dominant source of global climate variability. The effects of this phenomenon alter the flow of heat from tropical to polar latitudes, resulting in weather and climate anomalies that are difficult to forecast. The current work quantified two components of the vertically integrated equation for the total energy content of an atmospheric column, to show the anomalous horizontal redistribution of surface heat flux anomalies. Symmetric and asymmetric components of the vertically integrated latent and sensible heat flux divergence were quantified using ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalysis output on 30 model layers between 1979 and 2016. Results indicate that asymmetry is a fundamental component of ENSO-induced weather and climate anomalies at the global scale, challenging the common assumption that each phase of ENSO is equal and opposite. In particular, a substantial asymmetric component was identified in the relationship between ENSO and patterns of extratropical climate variability that may be proportional to differences in sea surface temperature anomalies during each phase of ENSO. This work advances our understanding of the global distributions of source and sink regions, which may improve future predictions of ENSO-induced precipitation and surface temperature anomalies. Future studies should apply these methods to advance understanding and to validate predictions of ENSO-induced weather and climate anomalies. View Full-Text
Keywords: El Niño-Southern Oscillation; ENSO symmetry; climate variability; sensible heat flux; latent heat flux; heat flux divergence; teleconnections; Pacific North American pattern; North Atlantic Oscillation El Niño-Southern Oscillation; ENSO symmetry; climate variability; sensible heat flux; latent heat flux; heat flux divergence; teleconnections; Pacific North American pattern; North Atlantic Oscillation
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Kutta, E.; Hubbart, J.A.; Eichler, T.P.; Lupo, A.R. Symmetry of Energy Divergence Anomalies Associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 342.

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