92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 4:30 PM
Recent and abrupt shifts in regional climate and their link to low-frequency changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean
Room 354 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Bradfield Lyon, International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI/Columbia University), Palisades, NY; and D. G. Dewitt

Recent observational and modeling analyses have shown that an abrupt decline in the long rains (during boreal spring) in East Africa around 1999 was associated with a nearly contemporaneous, and similarly abrupt, changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean. In this paper we report on subsequent analyses that indicate the recent changes in regional climate in East Africa are dynamically linked to much broader changes in seasonal climate on both the regional and large scale. Over roughly the past decade these changes include an enhancement of the Pacific Walker circulation and responses outside the tropics. Our diagnostic analyses of these recent changes will also be placed in the context of global climate projections for the end of the current century based on CMIP3.

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