Modes de variabilité climatique dans l'océan Pacifique tropical : quantification des non-linéarités et rôle sur les changements de régimes climatiques

Julien Boucharel 1
1 ECOLA - Echanges Côte-Large
LEGOS - Laboratoire d'études en Géophysique et océanographie spatiales
Abstract : ENSO is the dominant mode of climate variability in the Pacific, having widespread socio-economical impacts. ENSO characteristics have been observed to exhibit substantial irregular variability from decadal to millennial timescales. The origin of such richness in ENSO variability timescales is likely due to the combined effects of timescales interaction processes within the tropical Pacific (through self-sustained nonlinear dynamics) and to external forcing (e.g. volcanic activity, changes in greenhouse gases...). In this thesis, we propose a new statistical framework that allows documenting high statistical moments in observed and simulated timeseries and that provides a robust estimation of nonlinearity in the tropical coupled system. As a first step, from the analysis of long-term CGCM simulations and extended reconstructed SST data sets, it is demonstrated that an interaction between interdecadal mean state changes in the tropical Pacific and extreme El Niño events probability occurs. This supports the hypothesis of ENSO variability being rectified at a wide range of frequencies by the slowly varying mean state through nonlinear processes phase-locked to the seasonal cycle alternatively in the Western and Eastern tropical Pacific. We then question to which extent the increase in greenhouse gases can alter the ENSO properties with a focus on its nonlinear character. Taking advantage of the IPCC database and different projections scenarios, nonlinearities are diagnosed in a model ensemble; and a relevant metric of the change in nonlinearity due to climate change is defined. This new metric allows highlighting a zonal see-saw in nonlinearity patterns associated with the change in El Niño characteristics observed in recent years. The traditional 20th century El Niño fingerprint, localized in the Cold Tongue, is robustly displaced westward in a warmer climate leading to El Niño Modoki-type patterns. We relate this switch in El Niño types to a change in nonlinearity pattern from present-day climate to a warmer climate. Secondly, we focused on the eastern tropical Pacific and the Humboldt Current System modelling and especially on the ability of Galapagos Islands and intra-seasonal activity in rectifying their mean state. Unlike recent studies, we put into perspective the role of this archipelago in altering this regional mean state. On the other hand, the intra seasonal Kelvin waves activity has the potential to revitalize the local mean circulation, the vertical stratification and therefore the Eastern Pacific dynamics, which in turn may have the potential to affect ENSO through upscaling effects.
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Julien Boucharel. Modes de variabilité climatique dans l'océan Pacifique tropical : quantification des non-linéarités et rôle sur les changements de régimes climatiques. Climatologie. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2010. Français. ⟨tel-00720706⟩

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