Recent weakening in the winter ENSO teleconnection over the North Atlantic‑European region
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionClimate Dynamics. 2021, 57, 1953-1972. 10.1007/s00382-021-05783-z
New observational evidence for variability of the atmospheric response to wintertime El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is found. Using different approaches and datasets, a weakening in the recent ENSO teleconnection over the North Atlantic-European (NAE) region is demonstrated. Changes in both pattern and strength of the teleconnection indicate a turning point in the 1970s with a shift from a response resembling the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) to an anomaly pattern orthogonal to NAO with very weak or statistically non-significant values; and to nearly non-existent teleconnection in the most recent decades. Results shows the importance of the background sea surface temperature (SST) state and sea-ice climatology having opposite effects in modulating the ENSO-NAE teleconnection. As indicated with targeted simulations, the recent change in the SST climatology in the Atlantic and Arctic has contributed to the weakening of the ENSO effect. The findings of this study can have implications on our understanding of modulations of ENSO teleconnections and ENSO as a source of predictability in the NAE sector.