Trans-basin Atlantic-Pacific connections further weakened by common model Pacific mean SST biases

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Abstract

A robust eastern Pacific surface temperature cooling trend was evident between ~1990–2013 that was considered as a pronounced contributor to the global surface warming slowdown. The majority of current climate models failed to reproduce this Pacific cooling trend, which is at least partly due to the underrepresentation of trans-basin teleconnections. Here, we investigate whether common Pacific mean sea surface temperature biases may further diminish the Atlantic-Pacific trans-basin induced Pacific cooling. Our results suggest that background Pacific SST biases act to weaken the trans-basin teleconnection by strengthening the Atlantic atmospheric stability and reducing Atlantic convection. These Pacific SST biases also act to substantially undermine the positive zonal wind-SST feedback. Furthermore, when combined, the Pacific and Atlantic SST biases led to Pacific cooling response that is almost non-existent (underestimated by 89%). Future efforts aim at reducing the model mean state biases may significantly help to improve the simulation skills of trans-basin teleconnections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5677
Number of pages8
JournalNature Communications
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

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