Signals of El Niño Modoki in the tropical tropopause layer and stratosphere
- 1State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
- 2Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, China
Abstract. The effects of El Niño Modoki events on the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) and on the stratosphere were investigated using European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) reanalysis data, oceanic El Niño indices, and general climate model outputs. El Niño Modoki events tend to depress convective activities in the western and eastern Pacific but enhance convective activities in the central and northern Pacific. Consequently, during El Niño Modoki events, negative water vapor anomalies occur in the western and eastern Pacific upper troposphere, whereas there are positive anomalies in the central and northern Pacific upper troposphere. The spatial patterns of the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and upper tropospheric water vapor anomalies exhibit a tripolar form. The empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of the OLR and upper tropospheric water vapor anomalies reveals that canonical El Niño events are associated with the leading mode of the EOF, while El Niño Modoki events correspond to the second mode. The composite analysis based on ERA-interim data indicate that El Niño Modoki events have a reverse effect on middle-high latitudes stratosphere, as compared with the effect of typical El Niño events, i.e., the northern polar vortex is stronger and colder but the southern polar vortex is weaker and warmer during El Niño Modoki events. According to the simulation' results, we found that the reverse effect on the middle-high latitudes stratosphere is resulted from a complicated interaction between quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) signal of east phase and El Niño Modoki signal. This interaction is not a simply linear overlay of QBO signal and El Niño Modoki signal in the stratosphere, it is El Niño Modoki that leads to different tropospheric zonal wind anomalies with QBO forcing from that caused by typical El Niño, thus, the planetary wave propagation from troposphere to the stratosphere during El Niño Modoki events is different from that during canonical El Niño events. However, when QBO is in its west phase, El Niño Modoki events have the same effect on middle-high latitudes stratosphere as the typical El Niño events. Our simulations also suggest that canonical El Niño and El Niño Modoki activities actually have the same influence on the middle-high latitudes stratosphere when in the absence of QBO forcing.