Dynamics of monsoon-induced biennial variability in ENSO

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Abstract

The mechanism of the quasi-biennial tendency in ENSO-monsoon coupled system is investigated using an intermediate coupled model. The monsoon wind forcing is prescribed as a function of SST anomalies based on the relationship between zonal wind anomalies over the western Pacific to sea level change in the equatorial eastern Pacific. The key mechanism of quasi-biennial tendency in El Niño evolution is found to be in the strong coupling of ENSO to monsoon wind forcing over the western Pacific. Strong boreal summer monsoon wind forcing, which lags the maximum SST anomaly in the equatorial eastern Pacific approximately 6 months, tends to generate Kelvin waves of the opposite sign to anomalies in the eastern Pacific and initiates the turnabout in the eastern Pacific. Boreal winter monsoon forcing, which has zero lag with maximum SST in the equatorial eastern Pacific, tends to damp the ENSO oscillations.

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