Investigation of the Southern Annular Mode and the El Nin?o-Southern Oscillation Interactions
The dominant mode of climate variability across the Southern Hemisphere is the
Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode (SAM); however other modes associated with El
Niño- Southern Oscillation (ENSO) variability also play a significant role. Notably,
recent studies demonstrate significant correlation between ENSO and the SAM, primarily
during austral summer in the 1980s and 1990s, and austral spring in the 1990s. The
analysis presented here expands upon these studies to examine historical evidence of
their coupling and the mechanisms that generate the shared variability.
Using the methodology similar to previous studies, reconstructed indices of the
SAM are calculated for each season and for the annual mean spanning nearly 150 years.
Using these new SAM reconstructions, it was determined that the relationship between
SAM and ENSO is quite variable in the historical record, and that periods similar to the
1990s when the two were strongly correlated in austral summer have occurred in the past.
Using wavelet and spectral analyses, it was shown that the positive correlation between
the SAM and ENSO is generated by interactions with 3-7 year periods.
Stationary and transient eddies of heat and momentum are examined and reveal
that during periods when the two climate modes are positively correlated, a band of E-P
flux convergence during El Niño events (divergence during La Niña), associated with
changes in the storm track and southern branch of the ENSO horseshoe pattern, extend
from Indonesia to the high latitude south Pacific where the maximum teleconnection
occurs. When the modes are positively correlated, the changes to the aforementioned
storm track exist in a continuous fashion from the Rossby source region to the South
Pacific where they interact with similar storm track anomalies forced by the SAM. The
interaction of the storm tracks allows the tropical signal to penetrate deeper into the high
southern latitudes and maintain a stronger anomaly, compared to periods when the two
modes are anticorrelated and opposing storm track anomalies block the propagation of
the tropical signal into the high latitudes.
In honor of the love of my life, my inspiration, and my best friend, Andrea
School:The Ohio State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:southern oscillation climatic changes el nin?o current hemisphere pacific ocean
Date of Publication: