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Historical Phase-Locked El Ni?o Episodes

DOI: 10.4236/acs.2017.71005, PP. 48-64

Keywords: Climate, Climatology, Solar Forcing, Seasonal Effects, El Ni?o, Phase Locking

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Using a newly reported Pacific sea surface temperature data set, we extend a prior study that assigned El Niño episodes to distinct sequences. Within these sequences the episodes are phase-locked to subharmonics of the annual solar irradiance cycle having two- or three-year periodicity. There are 40 El Niño episodes occurring since 1872, each found within one of eighteen such sequences. Our list includes all previously reported events. Three El Niño episodes have already been observed in boreal winters of 2009, 2012 and 2015, illustrating a sequence of 3-year intervals that began in 2008. If the climate system remains in this state, the next El Niño is likely to occur in boreal winter of 2018.


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