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Toward a classification of the Central Pacific El Niño

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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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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