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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-208
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
13 Mar 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Contrasting behaviors of the atmospheric CO2 interannual variability during two types of El Niños
Jun Wang1,2, Ning Zeng2,3, Meirong Wang4, Fei Jiang1, Jingming Chen1,5, Pierre Friedlingstein6, Atul K. Jain7, Ziqiang Jiang1, Weimin Ju1, Sebastian Lienert8,9, Julia Nabel10, Stephen Sitch11, Nicolas Viovy12, Hengmao Wang1, and Andrew J. Wiltshire13 1International Institute for Earth System Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
2State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modelling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Beijing, China
3Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science and Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
4Joint Center for Data Assimi lation Research and Applications/Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of Education, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, China
5Department of Geography, University of Toronto, Ontario M5S3G3, Canada
6College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Unvernity of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QE, UK
7Department of Atmosheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
8Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
9Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
10Land in the Earth System, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, D - 20146 Hamburg, Germany
11College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter EX4 4QF, UK
12Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, LSCE/IPSL-CEA-CNRS-UVQS, F-91191, Gif sur Yvette, France
13Met office Hadley Centre, Fitzroy Rd, Exeter. EX1 3PB. UK
Abstract. El Niño has two different flavors: eastern Pacific (EP) and central Pacific (CP) El Niños, with different global teleconnections. However, their different impacts on carbon cycle interannual variability remain unclear. We here compared the behaviors of the atmospheric CO2 interannual variability and analyzed their terrestrial mechanisms during these two types of El Niños, based on Mauna Loa (MLO) CO2 growth rate (CGR) and Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) historical simulations. Composite analysis shows that evolutions of MLO CGR anomaly have three clear differences in terms of (1) negative and neutral precursors in boreal spring of El Niño developing years (denoted as “yr0”), (2) strong and weak amplitudes, and (3) durations of peak from December (yr0) to April of El Niño decaying year (denoted as “yr1”) and from October (yr0) to January (yr1) during EP and CP El Niños, respectively. Models simulated global land–atmosphere carbon flux (FTA) is able to capture the essentials of these characteristics. We further find that the gross primary productivity (GPP) over the tropics and extratropical southern hemisphere (Trop+SH) generally dominates the global FTA variations during both El Niño types. Regionally, significant anomalous carbon uptake caused by more precipitation and colder temperature, corresponding to the negative precursor, occurs between 30° S and 20° N from January (yr0) to June (yr0), while the strongest anomalous carbon releases, due largely to the reduced GPP induced by low precipitation and warm temperature, happen between equator and 20° N from February (yr1) to August (yr1) during EP El Niño events. In contrast, during CP El Niño events, clear carbon releases exist between 10° N and 20° S from September (yr0) to September (yr1), resulted from the widespread dry and warm climate conditions. Different spatial patterns of land temperature and precipitation in different seasons associated with EP and CP El Niños account for the characteristics in evolutions of GPP, terrestrial ecosystem respiration (TER), and resultant FTA. Understanding these different behaviors of the atmospheric CO2 interannual variability along with their terrestrial mechanisms during EP and CP El Niños is important because CP El Niño occurrence rate might increase under global warming.
Citation: Wang, J., Zeng, N., Wang, M., Jiang, F., Chen, J., Friedlingstein, P., Jain, A. K., Jiang, Z., Ju, W., Lienert, S., Nabel, J., Sitch, S., Viovy, N., Wang, H., and Wiltshire, A. J.: Contrasting behaviors of the atmospheric CO2 interannual variability during two types of El Niños, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-208, in review, 2018.
Jun Wang et al.
Jun Wang et al.

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Short summary
Based on the Mauna Loa CO2 records and TRENDY multi-model historical simulations, we investigate the different impacts of EP and CP El Ninos on carbon cycle interannual variability. Composite analysis indicates that the evolutions of CO2 growth rate anomalies have three clear differences in terms of precursors (negative & neutral), amplitudes (strong & weak), and durations of peak (Dec–Apr & Oct–Jan) during EP and CP El Ninos, respectively. Then we further discuss their terrestrial mechanisms.
Based on the Mauna Loa CO2 records and TRENDY multi-model historical simulations, we investigate...
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