13C.2 Understanding and Predicting ENSO's Influence on the California Current System

Thursday, 10 January 2019: 10:45 AM
North 129B (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Michael A. Alexander, NOAA/ESRL, Boulder, CO; and M. Jacox, J. D. Scott, and G. Hervieux

The California Current System (CCS), which extends along nearly all of the US West Coast, has one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. Before and during the very strong 2015-2016 El Niño event in the tropical Pacific record high ocean temperatures also occurred in the CCS with dramatic impacts on marine life. While the link between ENSO events and sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies along the US west coast, through both the atmosphere and the ocean, have been well documented, outstanding issues remain. For example, what processes contribute to extremes in the CCS during ENSO events? How well can we predict conditions in the CCS on seasonal and longer time scales? What is ENSO’s influence on the predictability? How does ENSO affect the chemistry and biology of the CCS, including Oxygen and pH? Has or will long-term changes in climate lead to more extreme conditions along the US west coast? We will address aspects of these questions using observations and a number of different modeling approaches, including forecasts from the North American Multi-model Ensemble, projections from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) and high-resolution model simulations.
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