Global atmospheric response to specific linear combinations of the main SST modes.
Part I: numerical experiments and preliminary results
Abstract. This article investigates through numerical experiments the controversial question of the impact of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena on climate according to large-scale and regional-scale interhemispheric thermal contrast. Eight experiments (two considering only inversed Atlantic thermal anomalies and six combining ENSO warm phase with large-scale interhemispheric contrast and Atlantic anomaly patterns) were performed with the Météo-France atmospheric general circulation model. The definition of boundary conditions from observed composites and principal components is presented and preliminary results concerning the month of August, especially over West Africa and the equatorial Atlantic are discussed. Results are coherent with observations and show that interhemispheric and regional scale sea-surface-temperature anomaly (SST) patterns could significantly modulate the impact of ENSO phenomena: the impact of warm-phase ENSO, relative to the atmospheric model intercomparison project (AMIP) climatology, seems stronger when embedded in global and regional SSTA patterns representative of the post-1970 conditions [i.e. with temperatures warmer (colder) than the long-term mean in the southern hemisphere (northern hemisphere)]. Atlantic SSTAs may also play a significant role.