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https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2018-3
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
15 Jan 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Dynamics (ESD).
Causal dependences between the coupled ocean-atmosphere dynamics over the Tropical Pacific, the North Pacific and the North Atlantic
Stéphane Vannitsem1 and Pierre Ekelmans2 1Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium, Avenue Circulaire, 3, 1180 Brussels, Belgium
2Theory of Neural Dynamics Group, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Max-von-Laue-Strasse 4, 60438 Frankfurt, Germany
Abstract. The causal dependences between the dynamics of three different coupled ocean-atmosphere basins, The North Atlantic, the North Pacific and the Tropical Pacific region, NINO3.4, have been explored using data from three reanalyses datasets, namely the ORA-20C, the ORAS4 and the ERA-20C. The approach is based on the Convergent Cross Mapping (CCM) developed by Sugihara et al. (2012) that allows for evaluating the dependences between observables beyond the classical teleconnection patterns based on correlations.

The use of CCM on these data mostly reveals that (i) the Tropical Pacific (NINO3.4 region) only influences the dynamics of the North Atlantic region through its annual climatological cycle; (ii) the atmosphere over the North Pacific is dynamically forcing the North Atlantic on a monthly basis; (iii) on longer time scales (interannual), the dynamics of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic are influencing each other through the ocean dynamics, suggesting a connection through the thermohaline circulation.

These findings shed a new light on the coupling between these three different important regions of the globe. In particular they call for a deep reassessment of the way teleconnections are interpreted, and for a more rigorous way to evaluate causality and dependences between the different components of the climate system.


Citation: Vannitsem, S. and Ekelmans, P.: Causal dependences between the coupled ocean-atmosphere dynamics over the Tropical Pacific, the North Pacific and the North Atlantic, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-2018-3, in review, 2018.
Stéphane Vannitsem and Pierre Ekelmans
Stéphane Vannitsem and Pierre Ekelmans

Data sets

Time series used in the manuscript "Causal dependences between the coupled ocean-atmosphere dynamics over the Tropical Pacific, the North Pacific and the North Atlantic" S. Vannitsem https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1135134
Stéphane Vannitsem and Pierre Ekelmans

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Short summary
The El-Nino-Southern-Oscillation phenomenon is a slow dynamics present in the coupled ocean-atmosphere tropical Pacific system which has important teleconnections with the northern extratropics. These teleconnections are usually believed to be the source of an enhanced predictability in the northern extratropics at seasonal to decadal time scales. This question is challenged by investigating the causality between these regions using an advanced technique known as Convergent Cross Mapping.
The El-Nino-Southern-Oscillation phenomenon is a slow dynamics present in the coupled...
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