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Title:Analyzing the effects of unforced natural variability and anthropogenic forcing on ENSO variability using CESM
Author(s):Vega-Westhoff, Benjamin Aaron
Advisor(s):Sriver, Ryan
Department / Program:Atmospheric Sciences
Discipline:Atmospheric Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
El niño-southern oscillation (ENSO)
Community earth system model (CESM)
El Niño
Abstract:The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an important contributor to Earth’s inter-annual climate variability, with worldwide weather effects (Whetton and Rutherfurd, 1994; Hoerling and Zhong, 1997; Dai and Wigley, 2000). Understanding how ENSO may change with climate is a major challenge, given the internal variability of the system and relatively short observational record (Wittenberg, 2009). Much recent research has used multi-model ensembles to address the effects of climate change on ENSO (Stevenson, 2012; Cai et al., 2014; Kim et al., 2014). Here we analyze ENSO in a Community Earth System Model (CESM) ensemble that samples internal variability of the coupled Earth system. We present results from a 50-member climate change ensemble experiment, using historical climate forcings (1850-2005) and projections to 2100 following the representative concentration pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5). With this ensemble, and a ~5000 year control run with constant pre-industrial conditions, we examine ENSO variability under different forcing regimes. We compare the effects of anthropogenic climate change with the effects of natural modulations on ENSO sea surface temperature (SST). We find that any changes in ENSO SST due to climate change are secondary to natural modulations.
Issue Date:2016-12-05
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Benjamin Vega-Westhoff
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-03-01
Date Deposited:2016-12

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