21st Conference on Climate Variability and Change


North pacific gyre oscillation synchronizes climate fluctuations in the eastern and western north pacific

Lina I. Ceballos, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA; and E. Di Lorenzo, N. Schneider, and C. D. Hoyos

Recent studies have identified the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO) as a decadal mode of climate variability that is linked to previously unexplained fluctuations of salinity, nutrient and chlorophyll fluctuations in the Northeast Pacific. The NPGO reflects changes in strength of the central and eastern branches of the subtropical gyre and is driven by the atmosphere through the North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) -- the second dominant mode of sea level pressure variability. We show that Rossby waves dynamics excited by the NPO propagate the NPGO signature from the central North Pacific into the Kuroshio-Oyashio Extension (KOE) with a lag of 3 years. This finding provides a physical mechanism that synchronizes decadal climate variations between the North Pacific eastern and western boundaries which can be useful in the prediction of sea surface variability in KOE, given the lead-lag relationship between the NPGO and the KOE.

Session 9A, Prediction of climate on seasonal to decadal timescales - II
Wednesday, 14 January 2009, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, Room 129A

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