The Asymmetric Connection of SST in the Tasman Sea with Respect to the Opposite Phases of ENSO in Austral Summer

Xueqian Sun, Shuanglin Li, Stefan Liess

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2 Scopus citations


This study uses linear regression and composite analyses to identify a pronounced asymmetric connection of sea surface temperature (SST) in the Tasman Sea with the two opposite phases of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) during austral summer. In El Niño years, the SST anomalies (SSTAs) in the Tasman Sea exhibit a dipolar pattern with weak warmth in the northwest and modest cooling in the southeast, while during La Niña years the SSTAs exhibit a basin-scale warmth with greater amplitude. Investigations into the underlying mechanism suggest that this asymmetry arises from a mechanism related to oceanic heat transport, specifically the anomalous Ekman meridional heat transport induced by the zonal wind stress anomalies, rather than the surface heat fluxes on the air-sea interface. Further analysis reveals that the asymmetry of oceanic heat transport between El Niño and La Niña years is driven by the asymmetric atmospheric circulation over the Tasman Sea stimulated by the asymmetric diabatic heating in the tropical Pacific between the two opposite ENSO phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1897-1913
Number of pages17
JournalAdvances in Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was jointly supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDA19070402) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41790473 and 41731177).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Authors.


  • El Niño-Southern Oscillation
  • SST in the Tasman Sea
  • asymmetric connection
  • oceanic heat transport
  • surface heat fluxes


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