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Asymmetry of the Bjerknes positive feedback between the two types of El Niño

  • Author(s): Zheng, F;
  • Fang, XH;
  • Yu, JY;
  • Zhu, J
  • et al.

Corresponding to the pronounced amplitude asymmetry for the central Pacific (CP) and eastern Pacific (EP) types of El Niño, an asymmetry in the strength of the Bjerknes positive feedback is found between these two types of El Niño, which is manifested as a weaker relationship between the zonal wind anomaly and the zonal gradient of sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly in the CP El Niño. The strength asymmetry mainly comes from a weaker sensitivity of the zonal gradient of sea level pressure (SLP) anomaly to that of diabatic heating anomaly during CP El Niño. This weaker sensitivity is caused by (1) a large cancelation induced by the negative SST-cloud thermodynamic feedback to the positive dynamical feedback for CP El Niño, (2) an off-equator shift of the maximum SLP anomalies during CP El Niño, and (3) a suppression of the mean low-level convergence when CP El Niño events occur more often. Key Points Asymmetry of the Bjerknes positive feedback exits between the CP and EP El NiñosThe strength of the Bjerknes positive feedback acts to induce the ENSO diversityThe asymmetry is caused by a different response of zonal SLP to diabatic heating

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