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Title: ENSO's Changing Influence on Temperature, Precipitation, and Wildfire in a Warming Climate

Abstract

On interannual to decadal time scales, the climate mode with many of the strongest societal impacts is the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). However, quantifying ENSO's changes in a warming climate remains a formidable challenge, due to both the noise arising from internal variability and the complexity of air-sea feedbacks in the tropical Pacific Ocean. In this paper, we use large (≥30-member) ensembles of climate simulations to show that anthropogenic climate change can produce systematic increases in ENSO teleconnection strength over many land regions, driving increased interannual variability in regional temperature extremes and wildfire frequency. As the spatial character of this intensification exhibits strong land-ocean contrasts, a causal role for land-atmosphere feedbacks is suggested. The identified increase in variance occurs in multiple model ensembles, independent of changes in sea surface temperature variance. In conclusion, this suggests that in addition to changes in the overall likelihoods of heat and wildfire extremes, the variability in these events may also be a robust feature of future climate.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1511151
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1471133
Grant/Contract Number:  
[SC0012711]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: 17]; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ENSO; climate variability; climate change; large ensembles; teleconnections

Citation Formats

Fasullo, J. T., Otto-Bliesner, B. L., and Stevenson, S. ENSO's Changing Influence on Temperature, Precipitation, and Wildfire in a Warming Climate. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2018gl079022.
Fasullo, J. T., Otto-Bliesner, B. L., & Stevenson, S. ENSO's Changing Influence on Temperature, Precipitation, and Wildfire in a Warming Climate. United States. doi:10.1029/2018gl079022.
Fasullo, J. T., Otto-Bliesner, B. L., and Stevenson, S. Wed . "ENSO's Changing Influence on Temperature, Precipitation, and Wildfire in a Warming Climate". United States. doi:10.1029/2018gl079022. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1511151.
@article{osti_1511151,
title = {ENSO's Changing Influence on Temperature, Precipitation, and Wildfire in a Warming Climate},
author = {Fasullo, J. T. and Otto-Bliesner, B. L. and Stevenson, S.},
abstractNote = {On interannual to decadal time scales, the climate mode with many of the strongest societal impacts is the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). However, quantifying ENSO's changes in a warming climate remains a formidable challenge, due to both the noise arising from internal variability and the complexity of air-sea feedbacks in the tropical Pacific Ocean. In this paper, we use large (≥30-member) ensembles of climate simulations to show that anthropogenic climate change can produce systematic increases in ENSO teleconnection strength over many land regions, driving increased interannual variability in regional temperature extremes and wildfire frequency. As the spatial character of this intensification exhibits strong land-ocean contrasts, a causal role for land-atmosphere feedbacks is suggested. The identified increase in variance occurs in multiple model ensembles, independent of changes in sea surface temperature variance. In conclusion, this suggests that in addition to changes in the overall likelihoods of heat and wildfire extremes, the variability in these events may also be a robust feature of future climate.},
doi = {10.1029/2018gl079022},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = [17],
volume = [45],
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}

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Cited by: 8 works
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