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Record warming in the South Pacific and western Antarctica associated with the strong central‐Pacific El Niño in 2009–10


Lee, T and Hobbs, WR and Willis, JK and Halkides, D and Fukumori, I and Armstrong, EM and Hayashi, AK and Liu, WT and Patzert, W and Wang, O, Record warming in the South Pacific and western Antarctica associated with the strong central‐Pacific El Niño in 2009-10, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, (19) Article L19704. ISSN 0094-8276 (2010) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2010 American Geophysical Union

DOI: doi:10.1029/2010GL044865


Satellite data for the past three decades reveal a recordhigh sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly within a large mid‐latitude region of the south‐central Pacific (SCP) during the mature phase of the 2009–10 El Niño, with a peak magnitude that is 5 times the standard deviation of local SST anomaly and is warmer than the concurrent tropical‐ Pacific SST anomaly. The SCP oceanic warming was confined to the upper 50 meters and is associated with an extreme and persistent anticyclone. Wind changes associated with the anticyclone caused the oceanic warming with surface heat flux and ocean processes playing equally important roles. The anticyclone diverted circumpolar westerlies and warm air towards Antarctica. Austral‐summer SST in the Bellingshausen Sea also reached a three‐decade high. The extreme atmospheric and oceanic anomalies in the South Pacific may have been fueled by the 2009–10 El Niño because of its record‐high SST anomaly in the centralequatorial Pacific.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:South Pacific; Antarctica; El Nino
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on the South Pacific (excl. Australia and New Zealand) (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Hobbs, WR (Dr Will Hobbs)
ID Code:81130
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:54
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2012-11-22
Last Modified:2013-06-18
Downloads:390 View Download Statistics

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