Weakening of the Atlantic Niño Variability Under Global Warming

A publication “Weakening of the Atlantic Niño variability under global warming” in Nature Climate Change, led by Lander Crespo & colleagues, was released in early September. Two CLIVAR members, Noel Keenlyside (co-chair of CDP and member of TBI RF) and Ingo Richter (co-chair of TBI RF and member of ARP), contributed to this paper.

The Tropical Atlantic Ocean is locked in between the Brazilian coastline on one side, and the west-African coastline in the east. As the ocean is a huge player in the climate systems, changes in the ocean affects the local weather – it also changes the marine ecosystems and affects people living of the fish resources within the oceans.

As in the large Pacific Ocean, the South Atlantic Ocean also have El Niño events occurring on interannual time scales. In this new study, researchers investigate how the Atlantic Niño will be affected under global warming.

This is the first time the impact of global warming on the Atlantic Niño has been addressed.  The result, published in Nature Climate Change, shows a strong weakening of the sea surface temperature variability. This implies less variations in sea surface temperatures in the future and will affect weather and fisheries along the coast lines on both sides of the South Atlantic Ocean.