Record warming in the South Pacific and western Antarctica associated with the strong central-Pacific El Niño in 2009–10
Article first published online: 14 OCT 2010
Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 37, Issue 19, October 2010
How to Cite
2010), Record warming in the South Pacific and western Antarctica associated with the strong central-Pacific El Niño in 2009–10, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L19704, doi:10.1029/2010GL044865., , , , , , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 14 OCT 2010
- Article first published online: 14 OCT 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 19 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Received: 27 JUL 2010
- South Pacific;
- El Nino
 Satellite data for the past three decades reveal a record-high 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 central-equatorial Pacific.