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Thursday, March 27, 2014

"The influence of different El Niño types on global average temperature," by S. Banholzer & S. Donner, GRL (2014), doi: 10.1002/2014GL059520

Geophysical Research Letters, (2014); DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059520

The influence of different El Niño types on global average temperature

  1. Sandra Banholzer and
  2. Simon Donner*

The El Niño/ Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is known to influence surface temperatures worldwide. El Niño conditions are thought to lead to anomalously warm global average surface temperature, absent other forcings. Recent research has identified distinct possible types of El Niño events based on the location of peak sea surface temperature anomalies. Here we analyze the relationship between the type of El Niño event and the global average temperature anomaly, using three historical temperature datasets. Separating El Niño events into types reveals that the global average surface temperatures are anomalously warm during and after traditional Eastern Pacific El Niño events, but not Central Pacific or Mixed events. Historical analysis indicated that slowdowns in the rate of global surface warming since the late-1800 s may be related to decadal variability in the frequency of different types of El Niño events.

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