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A climate network-based index to discriminate different types of El Nino and La Nina
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany.
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Number of Authors: 5
2016 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 43, no 13, 7176-7185 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

El Nino exhibits distinct Eastern Pacific (EP) and Central Pacific (CP) types which are commonly, but not always consistently, distinguished from each other by different signatures in equatorial climate variability. Here we propose an index based on evolving climate networks to objectively discriminate between both flavors by utilizing a scalar-valued measure that quantifies spatial localization and dispersion in global teleconnections of surface air temperature. Our index displays a sharp peak (high localization) during EP events, whereas during CP events (larger dispersion) it remains close to the values observed during normal periods. In contrast to previous classification schemes, our approach specifically accounts for El Nino's global impacts. We confirm recent El Nino classifications for theyears 1951 to 2014 and assign types to those cases where former works yielded ambiguous results. Ultimately, we demonstrate that our index provides a similar discrimination of La Nina episodes into two distinct types.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 43, no 13, 7176-7185 p.
Keyword [en]
El Nino, complex networks, La Nina, Central Pacific El Nino, East Pacific El Nino
National Category
Climate Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134286DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069119ISI: 000380901600060OAI: diva2:1033098
Available from: 2016-10-05 Created: 2016-10-03 Last updated: 2016-10-05Bibliographically approved

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Donges, Jonathan F.
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