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A Theory for El Niño and the Southern Oscillation

Mark A. Cane; Stephen E. Zebiak

Title:
A Theory for El Niño and the Southern Oscillation
Author(s):
Cane, Mark A.
Zebiak, Stephen E.
Date:
Type:
Articles
Department:
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Volume:
228
Permanent URL:
Book/Journal Title:
Science
Abstract:
A coupled atmosphere-ocean model is presented for El Niño and the Southern Oscillation that reproduces its major features, including its recurrence at irregular intervals. The interannual El Niño-Southern Oscillation cycle is maintained by deterministic interactions in the tropical Pacific region. Ocean dynamics alter sea-surface temperature, changing the atmospheric heating; the resulting changes in surface wind alter the ocean dynamics. Annually varying mean conditions largely determine the spatial pattern and temporal evolution of El Niño events.
Subject(s):
Physical oceanography
Atmospheric sciences
Publisher DOI:
10.1126/science.228.4703.1085
Item views:
291
Metadata:
text | xml

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