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Enso el nino southern oscillation

ENSO(El Nino Southern Oscillation)

ENVS 110 10-12-2008






Normal conditions west pacific warm pool
Normal Conditions: West Pacific Warm Poolhttp://www.sbg.ac.at/ipk/avstudio/pierofun/atmo/el-scans/el-nino2.jpg

El nino conditions
El Nino Conditionshttp://www.sbg.ac.at/ipk/avstudio/pierofun/atmo/el-scans/el-nino2.jpg


El nino forecasting
El Nino forecastinghttp://www.sbg.ac.at/ipk/avstudio/pierofun/atmo/el-scans/catch.jpg

  • Careful monitoring of

    • Oceanic temperatures (satellites)

    • Strength of trade winds

      sometimes it works – sometimes it doesn’t

How to measure sea surface temperatures old school
How to measure sea surface temperatures (old school)http://www.sbg.ac.at/ipk/avstudio/pierofun/atmo/el-scans/catch.jpg

  • automated buoys (get spot measurement, often temperature profile)

    → buoy arrays

  • temperature recorders in the water intakes of big ships

    → variable locations, sampling depth might not be constant (loaded vs. empty vessel) but greater geographical coverage

How to measure sea surface temperatures from satellites
How to Measure Sea Surface Temperatures from Satellites?http://www.sbg.ac.at/ipk/avstudio/pierofun/atmo/el-scans/catch.jpg

  • infrared radiation

    problem: cannot see through clouds, aerosols

  • electromagnetic radiation at other wavelengths

    • microwave radiation (can see through clouds and aerosols, but is scattered by raindrops)


How to measure ocean temperature at depth
how to measure ocean temperature at depth ?http://www.sbg.ac.at/ipk/avstudio/pierofun/atmo/el-scans/catch.jpg

  • warm water is less dense → takes up more space (floats on top of colder water)

  • sea surface rises

  • 50 m of 1C warmer water raises sea surface by approximately 1 cm

  • after lots of correlations, corrections and other trickery → get temperature distribution with depth

Historical variations
Historical variationshttp://www.sbg.ac.at/ipk/avstudio/pierofun/atmo/el-scans/catch.jpg

Red: El Nino

Blue: La Nina

How can you reconstruct enso cycles
How can you Reconstruct ENSO Cycles ?http://www.sbg.ac.at/ipk/avstudio/pierofun/atmo/el-scans/catch.jpg

  • Expressed as:

    • sea surface temperature anomalies

    • air temperature, atmospheric pressure anomalies in Pacific

    • precipitation ?

    • economic effects ?

    • climate effects outside equatorial Pacific?

Where is atmospheric pressure high, where is it low ?http://www.sbg.ac.at/ipk/avstudio/pierofun/atmo/el-scans/catch.jpg

source: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/islands/pacifics/tahiti.htm

Darwin http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/islands/pacifics/tahiti.htm


The southern oscillation index soi
The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/islands/pacifics/tahiti.htm

expresses difference in barometric pressure between Australia (Darwin) and Thaiti

several ways to calculate

Pdiff = MSLPThaiti - MSLPDarwin

sustained negative values: El Nino

sustained positive values: La Nina

Source: Commonwealth of Australia 2006, Bureau of Meteorology (ABN 92 637 533 532)

http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/soi2.shtml (accessed 3/13/06)

Enso cycles
ENSO Cycles Meteorology (ABN 92 637 533 532)

  • El Nino – La Nina phenomenon is cyclical

  • Note timescales involved

  • How rapidly does atmosphere change ?

  • How rapidly do oceans change ?

  • Oceans are a good place to look for drivers of short term climate change