Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Scientists find why CP El Niño is harder to predict than EP El Niño


El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which is one of the most striking interannual variabilities in the tropical Pacific, has been extensively studied for several decades. Understanding the changes in its characteristics is still an important issue in environmental and socioeconomic spheres worldwide.

Recently, a new type of El Niño [central Pacific (CP) El Niño] has emerged, in which maximum sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies are confined mostly to the CP--different to the canonical type [eastern Pacific (EP) El Niño], in which the maximum SST anomalies are located in the eastern Pacific.

In addition to the eastern Pacific El Niño which we have been quite familiar with, a second El Niño in the central Pacific has emerged.

Credit: Fei Zheng

The more frequent occurrence of CP El Niño and its different impacts on global climate compared to EP El Niño have been well documented.

However, a systematic examination of the performance of climate models in predicting the two types of El Niño had yet to be undertaken, and it remained controversial as to whether the predictability differs among state-of-the-art climate models.

Prof. Fei Zheng, from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Prof. Jin-Yi Yu, from the University of California, Irvine, explored the performance of the IAP's ENSO ensemble prediction system with respect to the two types of El Niño, focusing on the nine EP El Niño and twelve CP El Niño events that have occurred since 1950.

"We found that the skill scores for EP events were significantly better than those for CP events at all lead times," says Zheng, "the possible reasons are related to the systematic forecast biases coming mostly from the prediction of CP events; and systematic error characterized by an overly warm eastern Pacific during the spring season, indicating a stronger spring prediction barrier for CP El Niño."

Further improvements to coupled atmosphere-ocean models in terms of CP El Niño prediction should be recognized as a key and high-priority task for the climate prediction community. The study was recently published in Advanced in Atmospheric Sciences.

Media Contact

Zheng Lin


Zheng Lin | EurekAlert!

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data
22.03.2018 | University of Southampton

nachricht New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world
22.03.2018 | University of Cincinnati

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>