5.4 A Comparison of ENSO Variability in PMIP3 Models to Observations in the Southwest Pacific

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 2:15 PM
La Nouvelle A ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Grace Duke, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Observational data is used to parameterize models and build our understanding of climate phenomena such as the El Nio Southern Oscillation (ENSO). However, in regions like the Southwest Pacific where observations are limited, model simulations are needed to fill the temporal and spatial gaps in climatological records. This poster will examine the ability of PMIP3 models that participated in the Past Millennium experiment to simulate the spatial Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) and Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomaly patterns associated with ENSO phases across the Southwest Pacific (10N, 135E - 50S,120W) on a regional and local scale. ENSO is characterized by shifts in the strength of pressure systems in the Equatorial Pacific, an interannual phenomena that impacts the position of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ), and local SSS and SST. By comparing the mean, variance, and spatial patterns of SSS and SST from models verses observations across different time periods (the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Climate Anomaly, the past millennium, and modern times), the variability of ENSO will be examined and the capability of models tested.
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