Special Issue "El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO)"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Meteorology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Rob Allan
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
International ACRE Project Manager & C3S Data Rescue Service Manager, Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
Interests: historical global weather data rescue; historical re-analyses; melding climate science with social sciences and the humanities; climatic variability and change; ENSO

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to present an overview of our current understanding of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, its nature, and its relationship to other modes of natural variability and potential modulations under climate change. ENSO results from ocean–atmosphere interactions across the Indo–Pacific region, vacillating between two extremes, defined as El Niño and La Niña events, which occur irregularly at intervals of around 2–7 years, and vary in magnitude, duration, and evolution. Events typically last 12–18 months, but can evolve into protracted El Niño and La Niña episodes of multiple-year duration, with no two events or episodes exactly the same. Both El Niño and La Niña extremes can be near-global in their influence on world weather patterns via teleconnections which can extend to higher latitudes in both hemispheres. It is arguably the most globally impactful mode of the climate system.

Prof. Dr. Rob Allan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Ocean–atmosphere interactions

  • Climatic variability and change

  • Global climate modes

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Linear or Nonlinear Modeling for ENSO Dynamics?
Atmosphere 2018, 9(11), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9110435 - 08 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The observed ENSO statistics exhibits a non-Gaussian behavior, which is indicative of the presence of nonlinear processes. In this paper, we use the Recharge Oscillator Model (ROM), a largely used Low-Order Model (LOM) of ENSO, as well as methodologies borrowed from the field [...] Read more.
The observed ENSO statistics exhibits a non-Gaussian behavior, which is indicative of the presence of nonlinear processes. In this paper, we use the Recharge Oscillator Model (ROM), a largely used Low-Order Model (LOM) of ENSO, as well as methodologies borrowed from the field of statistical mechanics to identify which aspects of the system may give rise to nonlinearities that are consistent with the observed ENSO statistics. In particular, we are interested in understanding whether the nonlinearities reside in the system dynamics or in the fast atmospheric forcing. Our results indicate that one important dynamical nonlinearity often introduced in the ROM cannot justify a non-Gaussian system behavior, while the nonlinearity in the atmospheric forcing can instead produce a statistics similar to the observed. The implications of the non-Gaussian character of ENSO statistics for the frequency of extreme El Niño events is then examined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO))
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Review of Paleo El Niño-Southern Oscillation
Atmosphere 2018, 9(4), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9040130 - 30 Mar 2018
Cited by 15
Abstract
The Earth has seen El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)—the leading mode of interannual climate variability—for at least millennia and likely over millions of years. This paper reviews previous studies from perspectives of both paleoclimate proxy data (from traditional sediment records to the latest high-resolution [...] Read more.
The Earth has seen El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)—the leading mode of interannual climate variability—for at least millennia and likely over millions of years. This paper reviews previous studies from perspectives of both paleoclimate proxy data (from traditional sediment records to the latest high-resolution oxygen isotope records) and model simulations (including earlier intermediate models to the latest isotope-enabled coupled models). It summarizes current understanding of ENSO’s past evolution during both interglacial and glacial periods and its response to external climatic forcings such as volcanic, orbital, ice-sheet and greenhouse gas forcings. Due to the intrinsic irregularity of ENSO and its complicated relationship with other climate phenomena, reconstructions and model simulations of ENSO variability are subject to inherent difficulties in interpretations and biases. Resolving these challenges through new data syntheses, new statistical methods, more complex climate model simulations as well as direct model-data comparisons can potentially better constrain uncertainty regarding ENSO’s response to future global warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO))
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Other

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Open AccessPerspective
What Does It Mean to Be El Niño Ready?
Atmosphere 2018, 9(3), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9030094 - 07 Mar 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Once an El Niño event has been forecast, government warnings and news headlines highlight the need for society to get ready for the potential impacts of the event, whether drought, flood, heatwave, disease outbreak, or water shortage. The notion of readiness for a [...] Read more.
Once an El Niño event has been forecast, government warnings and news headlines highlight the need for society to get ready for the potential impacts of the event, whether drought, flood, heatwave, disease outbreak, or water shortage. The notion of readiness for a climate-, water- or weather-related hazard or disaster is a fuzzy term, subject to a wide range of conflicting perceptions. Not every government sees El Niño as a direct threat to the wellbeing of its citizens. In this paper, we conceptualize readiness and identify reasons that some governments do not as well as cannot prepare for El Niño’s foreseeable consequences. Central among those reasons are its characteristics: quasi-periodicity, event variability, difficulties with onset forecasting, and the fact that El Niño and its “teleconnections” are influenced by numerous other oceanic and atmospheric oscillations. As a result, there is no universally accepted approach to or reliable measure of readiness. The concept is often discussed qualitatively in terms of “shades of readiness”, such as hardly ready, somewhat ready, almost ready, and absolutely ready. Although El Niño is still difficult to forecast, the existing knowledge about it can provide usable information for decision makers to choose whether to pursue strategic or tactical disaster risk reduction policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO))
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