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CR 27:51-58 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/cr027051

Interannual variability and lagged correlation during strong El Niño events in the Pacific Ocean

You-Soon Chang1,*, Dongchull Jeon2, Homan Lee1, Hui Soo An3, Jang-Won Seo1, Yong-Hoon Youn1

1Marine Meteorology and Earthquake Research Laboratory, Meteorological Research Institute, Seoul 156-720, South Korea
2Ocean Environment and Climate Division, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, Ansan PO Box 29, Seoul 425-600, South Korea
3Department of Earth Science Education, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, South Korea

ABSTRACT: Interannual climate variability in the Pacific Ocean is investigated using historical data for precipitation, sea-surface temperature (SST) and sea-surface height (SSH). Emphasis is placed on examining the regional correlation, teleconnection patterns and their time lags. Spatial and temporal relationships are examined using empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs), wavelet transform and cross correlation analyses. All the analyzed data derived from first modes of EOFs show interannual variability very similar to those of Niño indices. Associated time series from second modes of EOFs explaining strong El Niño episodes have a high correlation with those of first modes at a time lag of about 9 to 11 mo. Spatial distributions of the strong El Niño modes and the lagged correlations with Niño3 region show a possible teleconnection pattern of the eastward migration of the Pacific climate system.

KEY WORDS: Interannual variability · Regional correlation · Teleconnection · EOF · Wavelet transform · Cross correlation · Strong El Niño

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