Monday, 10 February 2003: 10:00 AM
The interaction of coupled ocean-atmosphere variability in the Atlantic and the Pacific
Following major warm events in the equatorial Pacific there are often major warmings in the Atlantic. These Atlantic events tend to have a significant time delay (6-12 months) relative to the El Nino events. The most notable example of this phenomenon was the 1984 Atlantic warming which followed the 1982-83 El Nino. We use a coupled atmosphere-ocean model of intermediate complexity which includes both ocean basins to study this effect. The model is able to simulate ENSO variability with exceptional fidelity. We find that a rather simple and plausible atmospheric teleconnection between the basins is able to produce realistic coupled variability in both basins with the appropriate time delay. We discuss in detail the dynamical origin of the delay.