The Role of Atmospheric Transport for El Niño-Southern Oscillation Teleconnections

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The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is one of Earth's main modes of climate variability, having huge impacts on weather, agriculture, and people worldwide. Although these impacts and teleconnections have been studied for decades, the role of atmospheric transport is not completely understood. We analyze the atmospheric transport outgoing from the Equatorial Pacific with the Lagrangian particle dispersion model FLEXPART driven by reanalysis data. Our results demonstrate the interocean-basin exchange via the atmosphere: anomalously energetic air from the ENSO region mainly remains within the Tropics and Subtropics, while more air is transported toward the east during El Niño. Transport of anomalous moist air can directly be linked to several observed teleconnections, for example, droughts in the Amazon Basin and precipitation in Southeastern U.S. during El Niño. These results show that atmospheric transport plays a role in several ENSO teleconnections.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022GL100906
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2022

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 105206 Meteorology


  • energy transport
  • ENSO teleconnections
  • Lagrangian modeling

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