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Toward a classification of the Central Pacific El Niño

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Author(s): M. Pascolini-Campbell | D. Zanchettin | O. Bothe | C. Timmreck | D. Matei | J. H. Jungclaus | H.-F. Graf

Journal: Earth System Dynamics Discussions
ISSN 2190-4995

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 979;
Date: 2012;
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ABSTRACT
We investigate the various methods currently available for distinguishing between the Central Pacific (CP) El Niño (or "El Niño Modoki") and the canonical El Niño by considering 10 different methods and 5 sea surface temperature (SST) datasets from 1880 to 2010. Years which are classified as CP El Niños with the greatest convergence between method and SST dataset are considered to provide a more robust identification of these events. The results identify 13 yr which are classified the most consistently as CP events: 1885/1886, 1914/1915, 1940/1941, 1958/1959, 1963/1964, 1968/1969, 1977/1978, 1986/1987, 1991/1992, 2002/2003, 2003/2004, 2004/2005 and 2009/2010. Our findings also indicate the persistence of CP events throughout the time period investigated, inciting the role of multidecadal natural climate variability in generating CP El Niños.
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