Online ISSN : 1349-6476
Contrasting Cloud Radiative Feedbacks during Warm Pool and Cold Tongue El Niños
Lin ChenLu WangTim LiDe-Zheng Sun
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2018 Volume 14 Pages 126-131


The study presents the contrasting characteristics of cloud-radiative feedbacks to the cold tongue (CT) and warm pool (WP) El Niño (EN). The maximum sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) of the CT-EN are located in the far-eastern Pacific. However, the maximum responses of the shortwave- and longwave- cloud-radiative forcing (SWCRF and LWCRF) to the CT-EN warming are centered near the dateline, showing 70° westward shift relative to the maximum SSTA center of CT-WN. In contrast, the maximum responses of the SWCRF and LWCRF to the WP-EN warming show only slight westward shift relative to the maximum SSTA center. The contrasting cloud-radiative feedbacks to the two types of ENs can be traced back to the contrasting precipitation feedbacks, which is associated with the convection threshold. When the warm SSTA of CT-EN occurs in the relatively cold eastern Pacific, the total SST in-situ may not exceed the convection threshold. Therefore, the induced precipitation anomaly would occur towards the warm western Pacific, and the corresponding cloud cover and cloud-radiative feedbacks would exhibit an apparent westward shift. As the warm SSTA of WP-EN occurs in the relatively warm central Pacific, the corresponding responses of the anomalous fields to the WP-EN show only slight westward displacement.

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© The Author(s) 2018. This is an open access article published by the Meteorological Society of Japan under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.
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