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How Does El Niño Southern Oscillation Change Under Global Warming - A First Look at CMIP6
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  • Hege-Beate Fredriksen,
  • Judith Berner,
  • Aneesh Subramanian,
  • Antonietta Capotondi
Hege-Beate Fredriksen
Department of Physics and Technology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Judith Berner
National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
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Aneesh Subramanian
University of Colorado Boulder
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Antonietta Capotondi
University of Colorado Boulder
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The latest generation of coupled models, the sixth Coupled Models Intercomparison Project (CMIP6), is used to study the changes in the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in a warming climate. For the four future scenarios studied, the sea surface temperature variability increases in most CMIP6 models, but to varying degrees. This increase is linked to a weakening of the east-west temperature gradient in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which is evident across all models. Just as in previous generations of climate models, we find that many characteristics of future ENSO remain uncertain. This includes changes in dominant timescale, extra-tropical teleconnection patterns and amplitude of El Niño and La Niña events. For models with the strongest increase in future variability, the majority of the increase happens in the Eastern Pacific, where the strongest El Niño events usually occur.