Extreme temperatures in Southeast Asia caused by El Niño and worsened by global warming

by K. Thirumalai et al., June 6, 2017, in Nature Communication

In April 2016, southeast Asia experienced surface air temperatures (SATs) that surpassed national records, exacerbated energy consumption, disrupted agriculture and caused severe human discomfort. Here we show using observations and an ensemble of global warming simulations the combined impact of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon and long-term warming on regional SAT extremes. We find a robust relationship between ENSO and southeast Asian SATs wherein virtually all April extremes occur during El Niño years.

Threshold in North Atlantic-Arctic Ocean circulation controlled by the subsidence of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge

by Michael Stars et al., June 5, 2017 in Nature Communication

High latitude ocean gateway changes are thought to play a key role in Cenozoic climate evolution. However, the underlying ocean dynamics are poorly understood. Here we use a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean model to investigate the effect of ocean gateway formation that is associated with the subsidence of the Greenland–Scotland Ridge. We find a threshold in sill depth (50 m) that is linked to the influence of wind mixing.