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Summer Persistence Barrier of Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in the Central Western North Pacific


doi: 10.1007/s00376-012-1253-2

  • The persistence barrier of sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) in the North Pacific was investigated and compared with the ENSO spring persistence barrier. The results show that SSTAs in the central western North Pacific (CWNP) have a persistence barrier in summer: the persistence of SSTAs in the CWNP shows a significant decline in summer regardless of the starting month. Mechanisms of the summer persistence barrier in the CWNP are different from those of the spring persistence barrier of SSTAs in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. The phase locking of SSTAs to the annual cycle does not explain the CWNP summer persistence barrier. Remote ENSO forcing has little linear influence on the CWNP summer persistence barrier, compared with local upper-ocean process and atmospheric forcing in the North Pacific. Starting in wintertime, SSTAs extend down to the deep winter mixed layer then become sequestered beneath the shallow summer mixed layer, which is decoupled from the surface layer. Thus, wintertime SSTAs do not persist through the following summer. Starting in summertime, persistence of summer SSTAs until autumn can be explained by the atmospheric forcing through a positive SSTAs--cloud/radiation feedback mechanism because the shallow summertime mixed layer is decoupled from the temperature anomalies at depth, then the following autumn--winter--spring, SSTAs persist. Thus, summer SSTAs in the CWNP have a long persistence, showing a significant decline in the following summer. In this way, SSTAs in the CWNP show a persistence barrier in summer regardless of the starting month.
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Manuscript History

Manuscript received: 10 November 2012
Manuscript revised: 10 November 2012
通讯作者: 陈斌, bchen63@163.com
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Summer Persistence Barrier of Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in the Central Western North Pacific

  • 1. Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, National Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100029, State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 51030;National Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100029;Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of Education and College of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, National Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100029

Abstract: The persistence barrier of sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) in the North Pacific was investigated and compared with the ENSO spring persistence barrier. The results show that SSTAs in the central western North Pacific (CWNP) have a persistence barrier in summer: the persistence of SSTAs in the CWNP shows a significant decline in summer regardless of the starting month. Mechanisms of the summer persistence barrier in the CWNP are different from those of the spring persistence barrier of SSTAs in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific. The phase locking of SSTAs to the annual cycle does not explain the CWNP summer persistence barrier. Remote ENSO forcing has little linear influence on the CWNP summer persistence barrier, compared with local upper-ocean process and atmospheric forcing in the North Pacific. Starting in wintertime, SSTAs extend down to the deep winter mixed layer then become sequestered beneath the shallow summer mixed layer, which is decoupled from the surface layer. Thus, wintertime SSTAs do not persist through the following summer. Starting in summertime, persistence of summer SSTAs until autumn can be explained by the atmospheric forcing through a positive SSTAs--cloud/radiation feedback mechanism because the shallow summertime mixed layer is decoupled from the temperature anomalies at depth, then the following autumn--winter--spring, SSTAs persist. Thus, summer SSTAs in the CWNP have a long persistence, showing a significant decline in the following summer. In this way, SSTAs in the CWNP show a persistence barrier in summer regardless of the starting month.

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