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  • Lloyd, J., Guilyardi, E., Weller, H., and Slingo, J., 2009: The Role of Atmosphere Feedbacks During ENSO in the CMIP3 Models. Atmospheric Science Letters. In press.

Several studies using ocean-atmosphere GCMs suggest that the atmospheric
component plays a dominant role in the modelled ENSO. To help elucidate these
findings, the two main atmosphere feedbacks relevant to ENSO, the Bjerknes pos-
itive feedback (μ) and the heat flux negative feedback (α), are here analysed in 12 coupled GCMs.

We find that the models generally underestimate both feedbacks, leading to an
error compensation. The strength of α is inversely related to the ENSO amplitude
in the models and the latent heat and shortwave flux components of this feedback
dominate. Furthermore, the shortwave component could help explain the model
diversity in both overall α and ENSO amplitude.


Last Updated: 2009-05-22

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