Event Title

Reactions of the California and Kuroshio Currents to El Niño Events

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Description

El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) creates variability in the eastern and western tropical Pacific, affecting sea surface temperature. This study attempts to quantify the effects of ENSO on the eastern and western Pacific sea surface temperatures (SST) by examining the anomalies and distribution in SST in the areas of the Kuroshio and California Currents. Winter and summer gridded 2°x2° SST data were correlated with the Nino 3.4 index, a measure of the intensity and phase of ENSO events, to determine how SST was related with the ENSO conditions from 1855 to 2015. Correlations were mapped for the area representing each current for summer and winter months. During El Niño events, winter SST tended to increase in areas of both the California and Kuroshio Currents, as indicated by positive correlations between SST and the Nino index (maximum r = 0.358, p-value = 0.01 for Kuroshio and maximum r = 0.684, p-value = 0.01 for California). On the other hand, SST tended to decrease in the Kuroshio Current for both summer and winter months, but the most significant decrease in SST was during the summer months. Understanding the relationship between ENSO and SST may provide insight to the connections between ENSO events and precipitation variations in East Asia and west coast of the US.

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Reactions of the California and Kuroshio Currents to El Niño Events

El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) creates variability in the eastern and western tropical Pacific, affecting sea surface temperature. This study attempts to quantify the effects of ENSO on the eastern and western Pacific sea surface temperatures (SST) by examining the anomalies and distribution in SST in the areas of the Kuroshio and California Currents. Winter and summer gridded 2°x2° SST data were correlated with the Nino 3.4 index, a measure of the intensity and phase of ENSO events, to determine how SST was related with the ENSO conditions from 1855 to 2015. Correlations were mapped for the area representing each current for summer and winter months. During El Niño events, winter SST tended to increase in areas of both the California and Kuroshio Currents, as indicated by positive correlations between SST and the Nino index (maximum r = 0.358, p-value = 0.01 for Kuroshio and maximum r = 0.684, p-value = 0.01 for California). On the other hand, SST tended to decrease in the Kuroshio Current for both summer and winter months, but the most significant decrease in SST was during the summer months. Understanding the relationship between ENSO and SST may provide insight to the connections between ENSO events and precipitation variations in East Asia and west coast of the US.