EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Revisiting ENSO Atmospheric Teleconnections and Challenges

Andréa S. Taschetto1,2, Caroline C. Ummenhofer2,3, Malte F. Stuecker4,5, Dietmar Dommenget2,6, Karumuri Ashok7, Regina R. Rodrigues8, and Sang-Wook Yeh9
Andréa S. Taschetto et al.
  • 1Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (
  • 2ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  • 3Department of Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, USA (
  • 4Department of Oceanography, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawai‘i, USA (
  • 5International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawai‘i, USA
  • 6School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment, Monash University, VIC, Australia (
  • 7Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS), University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India (
  • 8Department of Geosciences, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil (
  • 9Department of Marine Science and Convergent Technology, Hanyang University, Ansan, Korea (

The warming of the equatorial Pacific associated with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) causes profound impacts on rainfall and temperature in the tropics and extratropics. El Niño drives changes in the Walker and Hadley circulations, warms the tropics and affects the neighboring ocean basins, favoring a short-term rise in global temperatures. We will present an overview of the atmospheric teleconnections driven by ENSO and its diversity focusing on the impacts over land and remote ocean basins. During El Niño, dry conditions are generally observed in the Maritime Continent, northern South America, South Asia and South Africa, while wet weather typically occurs in southwestern North America, western Antarctica, and east Africa. Global effects during La Niña are overall the opposite to El Niño, however this assumption is not true for all regions. ENSO atmospheric teleconnections are non-linear in part due to different locations of the anomalous equatorial warming (Eastern versus Central Pacific events) superimposed on the Pacific mean state, as well as interactions with the annual cycle, off-equatorial regions, remote ocean basins, and other modes of climate variability. Adding to this complex behavior, ENSO teleconnections are non-stationary either due to deterministic low-frequency modulations or stochastic variability, the latter being a factor generally overlooked in the literature. As the world warms in response to greenhouse gas forcing, ENSO atmospheric teleconnections are expected to change, despite large uncertainties in ENSO projections. We will discuss the limitations of climate models in representing realistic teleconnections from the tropical Pacific to remote regions and some of the challenges for future projections.

How to cite: Taschetto, A. S., Ummenhofer, C. C., Stuecker, M. F., Dommenget, D., Ashok, K., Rodrigues, R. R., and Yeh, S.-W.: Revisiting ENSO Atmospheric Teleconnections and Challenges, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020,, 2020

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