The perplexing warming trend over the Pacific Ocean and the key role of two-way teleconnections between the Southern Ocean and the tropical Pacific

Seminar by Prof. David Battisti from University of Washington

20 June 2024
KST 10:30 – 11:30

The Seminar is being held in Room 1010 (Jasmin) – Integrated mechanical engineering building. Click here for the campus map.

The planet is warming due to the burning of fossil fuels, but the geographical pattern of the observed temperature change over the Pacific Ocean over the past ~40 years is profoundly different from our expectations based on the CMIP5/6 climate model simulations of both historical and future warming. Here we will present an argument that the observed pattern of warming is consistent with a forced response to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide shaped by two-way atmospheric teleconnections between the Southern Ocean and tropical Pacific Ocean. The same two-way atmospheric teleconnections might also be capable of yielding low-frequency natural variability in sea surface temperature and sea level pressure anomalies resembling the observed trend patterns. We will offer reasons why the observed pattern of warming is not simulated by the climate models. The observed pattern of warming in the Pacific has first-order implications for climate sensitivity as well as for the projected changes in global-scale precipitation.