Individual and combined impacts of ENSO and East Asian winter monsoon on the South China Sea cold tongue intensity

Abstract

A region of low sea surface temperature (SST) extends southward in the central part of southern South China Sea during boreal winter, which is called the South China Sea cold tongue (SCS CT). The present study investigates the factors of interannual variation of SST in the SCS CT region and explores the individual and combined impacts of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM) on the SCS CT intensity. During years with ENSO alone or with co-existing ENSO and anomalous EAWM, shortwave radiation and ocean horizontal advection play major roles in the interannual variation of the SCS CT intensity. Ocean advection contributes largely to the SST change in the region southeast of Vietnam. In strong CT years with anomalous EAWM alone, surface wind-related latent heat flux has a major role and shortwave radiation is secondary to the EAWM-induced change of the SCS CT intensity, whereas the role of ocean horizontal advection is relatively small. The above differences in the roles of ocean advection and latent heat flux are associated with the distribution of low level wind anomalies. In anomalous CT years with ENSO, low level anomalous cyclone/anticyclone-related wind speed change leads to latent heat flux anomalies with effects opposite to shortwave radiation. In strong CT years with anomalous EAWM alone, surface wind-related latent heat flux anomalies are large as anomalous winds are aligned with climatological winds.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14

References

  1. Carton JA, Chepurin GA, Chen L (2018) SODA3: a new ocean climate reanalysis. J Clim 31:6967–6983. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0149.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Centurioni LR, Niiler PN, Lee DK (2009) Near-surface circulation in the South China Sea during the winter monsoon. Geophys Res Lett 36:L06605

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Chang CP, Erickson JE, Lau KM (1979) Northeasterly cold surges and near-equatorial disturbances over the winter MONEX area during December 1974. Part I: synoptic aspects. Mon Weather Rev 107(7):812–829

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Chao CY, Shaw PT, Wu SY (1996) El Niño modulation of the South China Sea circulation. Prog Oceanogr 38:51–93

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Chen W, Graf HF, Huang RH (2000) The interannual variability of East Asian winter monsoon and its relation to the summer monsoon. Adv Atmos Sci 17(1):46–60

    Google Scholar 

  6. Chen W, Feng J, Wu R (2013) Roles of ENSO and PDO in the link of the East Asian winter monsoon to the following summer monsoon. J Clim 26:622–635. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00021.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Chen Z, Wu R, Chen W (2014) Impacts of autumn Arctic sea ice concentration changes on the East Asian winter monsoon variability. J Clim 27(14):5433–5450. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00731.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Chu CP, Chang CP (1997) South China Sea warm pool in boreal spring. Adv Atmos Sci 14:195–206

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Chu PC, Edmons NL, Fan CW (1999) Dynamical mechanisms for the South China Sea seasonal circulation and thermohaline variabilities. J Phys Oceanogr 29:2971–2989

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Gong DY, Wang SW, Zhu JH (2001) East Asian winter monsoon and Arctic Oscillation. Geophys Res Lett 28:2073–2076

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Gong G, Entekhabi D, Cohen J (2003) Modeled Northern Hemisphere winter climate response to realistic snow anomalies. J Clim 16:3917–3931

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. He Z, Wu R (2013a) Coupled seasonal variability in the South China Sea. J Oceanogr 69:57–69. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10872-012-0157-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. He Z, Wu R (2013b) Seasonality of interannual atmosphere–ocean interaction in the South China Sea. J Oceanogr 69:699–712. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10872-013-0201-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Hu JY, Kavamura H, Hong HS, Qi YQ (2000) A review on the currents in the South China Sea: seasonal circulation, South China Sea warm current and Kuroshio intrusion. J Oceanogr 56(6):607–624

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Jia XJ, Ge JW, Wang S (2016) Diverse impacts of ENSO on wintertime rainfall over the Maritime Continent. Int J Climatol 36:3384–3397. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.4562

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Kanamitsu M, Ebisuzaki W, Woollen J, Yang SK, Hnilo JJ, Fiorino M, Potter GL (2002) NCEP-DOE AMIP-II reanalysis (R-2). Bull Am Meteorol Soc 83:1631–1643

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Klein SA, Soden BJ, Lau NC (1999) Remote sea surface temperature variations during ENSO: Evidence for a tropical Atmospheric bridge. J Clim 12:917–932

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Kobayashi S, Ota Y, Harada Y et al (2015) The JRA-55 reanalysis: General specifications and basic characteristics. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 93(1):5–48. https://doi.org/10.2151/jmsj.2015-001

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Koseki S, Koh TY, Teo CK (2013) Effects of the cold tongue in the South China Sea on the monsoon, diurnal cycle and rainfall in the Maritime Continent. Q J R Meteorol Soc 139:1566–1582

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Kumar BP, Vialard J, Lengaigne M, Murty VSN, McPhaden MJ (2012) TropFlux: Air-sea fluxes for the global tropical oceans–Description and evaluation. Clim Dyn 38(7–8):1521–1543. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-011-1115-0

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Lau KM, Chang CP (1987) Planetary scale aspects of the winter monsoon and atmospheric teleconnections. Monsoon Meteorology, CP Chang and TN Krishnamurti (Eds), Oxford University Press, Oxford, 161–201

  22. Lau NC, Nath MJ (2003) Atmosphere-ocean variations in the Indo-Pacific sector during ENSO episodes. J Clim 16(1):3–20

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Lestari RK, Watanabe M, Kimoto M (2011) Role of air–sea coupling in the interannual variability of the South China Sea summer monsoon. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 89A:283–290

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Lin PF, Liu HL, Zhang XH (2007) Sensitivity of the upper ocean temperature and circulation in the equatorial Pacific to solar radiation penetration due to phytoplankton. Adv Atmos Sci 24(5):765–780

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Liu Q, Yang H, Liu Z (2001) Seasonal features of the Sverdrup circulation in the South China Sea. Prog Nat Sci 11:202–206

    Google Scholar 

  26. Liu Q, Jiang X, Xie SP, Liu WT (2004) A gap in the Indo-Pacific warm pool over the South China Sea in boreal winter: seasonal development and interannual variability. J Geophys Res 109:C07012. https://doi.org/10.1029/2003JC002179

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Liu QY, Wang D, Wang X, Shu Y, Xie Q, Chen J (2014) Thermal variations in the South China Sea associated with the eastern and central Pacific El Niño events and their mechanisms. J Geophys Res (Oceans) 119:8955–8972

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Qu T, Du Y, Strachan J, Meyers G, Slingo J (2005) Sea surface temperature and its variability in the Indonesian region. Oceanography 18(4):50–61

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Rayner N, Parker D, Horton E, Folland C, Alexander L, Rowell D, Kent E, Kaplan A (2003) Global analyses of sea surface temperature, sea ice, and night marine air temperature since the late nineteenth century. J Geophys Res 108:4407. https://doi.org/10.1029/2002JD002670

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Reynolds RW, Rayner NA, Smith TM, Stokes DC, Wang W (2002) An improved in situ and satellite SST analysis for climate. J Clim 15:1609–1625

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Seow MXC, Tozuka T (2019) Ocean thermodynamics behind the asymmetry of interannual variation of South China Sea winter cold tongue strength. Clim Dyn 52:3241–3253. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-018-4320-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Shaw PT, Chao SY (1994) Surface circulation in the South China Sea. Deep-Sea Res 41(11–12):1663–1683

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Shen S, Lau KM (1995) Biennial oscillation as sociated with the East Asian summer monsoon and tropical sea surface temperature. J Meteor Soc Jpn 73:105–124

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Thompson B, Tkalich P (2014) Mixed layer thermodynamics of the Southern South China Sea. Clim Dyn 43(7–8):2061–2075

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Thompson B, Tkalich P, Malanotte-Rizzoli P, Fricot B, Mas J (2016) Dynamical and thermodynamical analysis of the South China Sea winter cold tongue. Clim Dyn 47(5–6):1629–1646

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Tomita T, Yasunari T (1996) Role of the northeast winter monsoon on the biennial oscillation of the ENSO/monsoon system. J Meteor Soc Jpn 74:399–4213

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Varikoden H, Samah AA, Babu CA (2010) The cold tongue in the South China Sea during boreal winter and its interaction with the atmosphere. Adv Atmos Sci 27(2):265–273

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Wang C (2002) Atmospheric circulation cells associated with the El Niño – Southern Oscillation. J Clim 15:399–419

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Wang C (2005) ENSO, Atlantic climate variability, and the Walker and Hadley circulations. The Hadley Circulation: Past, Present and Future, HF Diaz and RS Bradley (Eds), Springer, New York, 173–202

  40. Wang L, Chen W (2010) How well do existing indices measure the strength of the East Asian winter monsoon? Adv Atmos Sci 27(4):855–870. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-009-9094-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Wang B, Zhang Q (2002) Pacific–East Asian Teleconnection. Part II: How the Philippine Sea anomalous anticyclone is established during El Niño development. J Clim 15(22): 3252–3265. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(2002)015<3252:PEATPI>2.0.CO;2

  42. Wang B, Wu R, Fu X (2000) Pacific-East Asian teleconnection: How does ENSO affect East Asian climate? J Clim 13(9):1517–1536. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(2000)013%3c1517:PEATHD%3e2.0.CO;2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Wang B, Wu R, Li T (2003) Atmosphere-warm ocean interaction and its impacts on the Asian-Australian monsoon variation. J Clim 16(8):1195–1211

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Wang C, Wang W, Wang D, Wang Q (2006) Interannual variability of the South China Sea associated with El Niño. J Geophys Res 111:C03023. https://doi.org/10.1029/2005JC003333

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Wu R, Kirtman BP (2007) Regimes of seasonal air–sea interaction and implications for performance of forced simulations. Clim Dyn 29:393–410

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Wu BY, Wang J (2002) Winter Arctic Oscillation, Siberian High and East Asian winter monsoon. Geophys Res Lett 29:1897. https://doi.org/10.1029/2002GL015373

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Wu CR, Shaw PT, Chao SY (1998) Seasonal and interannual variations in the velocity field of the South China Sea. J Oceanogr 54:361–372. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02742620

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Wu R, Hu ZZ, Kirtman BP (2003) Evolution of ENSO-related rainfall anomalies in East Asia. J Clim 16(22):3742–3758

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Wu B, Li T, Zhou T (2010) Asymmetry of atmospheric circulation anomalies over the Western North Pacific between El Niño and La Niña. J Clim 23:4807–4822. https://doi.org/10.1175/2010JCLI3222.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Wu R, Chen W, Wang G, Hu K (2014) Relative contribution of ENSO and East Asian winter monsoon to the South China Sea SST anomalies during ENSO decaying years. J Geophys Res 119:5046–5064. https://doi.org/10.1002/2013JD021095

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Xie SP, Xie Q, Wang D, Liu WT (2003) Summer upwelling in the South China Sea and its role in regional climate variations. J Geophys Res 108(C8):3261. https://doi.org/10.1029/2003JC001867

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Zhang R, Sumi A, Kimoto M (1996) Impact of El Niño on the East Asian monsoon: a diagnostic study of the '86/87 and '91/92 events. J Meteorol Soc Jpn 74:49–62

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Zhou LT, Wu R (2010) Respective impacts of the East Asian winter monsoon and ENSO on winter rainfall in China. J Geophys Res 115:D02107. https://doi.org/10.1029/2009JD012502

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

Comments of two anonymous reviewers are appreciated. This study is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China Grants (41775080, 41530425, and 41721004). The NCEP-DOE reanalysis 2 data and the NOAA OI version 2 SST data were obtained from http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/. The SODA data were obtained from https://www2.atmos.umd.edu/. HadISST1 SST data were obtained from https://psl.noaa.gov/gcos_wgsp/. The TropFlux data were obtained fromhttps://incois.gov.in/tropflux/. The JRA-55 reanalysis data were obtained from http://jra.kishou.go.jp/JRA-55/.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Renguang Wu.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wang, Z., Wu, R. Individual and combined impacts of ENSO and East Asian winter monsoon on the South China Sea cold tongue intensity. Clim Dyn (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-021-05682-3

Download citation

Keywords

  • The South China Sea
  • Cold tongue
  • ENSO
  • East Asian winter monsoon
  • Surface heat fluxes
  • Ocean advection