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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2017-104
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 02 Jan 2018

Research article | 02 Jan 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS). The revised manuscript was not accepted.

Seasonal and interannual (ENSO) climate variabilities and trends in the South China Sea over the last three decades

Violaine Piton1,2 and Thierry Delcroix1 Violaine Piton and Thierry Delcroix
  • 1LEGOS, CNES, CNRS, IRD, UPS, University of Toulouse, France
  • 2University of Sciences and Technology of Hanoi, Hanoi, Vietnam

Abstract. We present a short overview of the long-term mean and variability of five Essential Climate Variables observed in the South China Sea over the last 3 decades, including sea surface temperature (SST), sea level anomaly (SLA), precipitation (P), surface wind and water discharge (WD) from the Mekong and Red Rivers. At the seasonal time scale, SST and SLAs increase in the summer (up to 4.2°C and 14cm, respectively), and P increases in the north. The summer zonal and meridional winds reverse and intensify (mostly over the ocean), and the WD shows positive anomalies. At the interannual time scale, each variable appears to be correlated with El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indices. Eastern Pacific El Niño events produce basin-wide SST warming (up to 1.4°C) with a 6-month lag. The SLAs fall basin-wide (by up to 9cm) during an El Niño event (all types), with a 3-month lag. The zonal and meridional winds strengthen (up to 4m/s) in the north (weaken in the south) during all types of El Niño events, with a 3–5-month lag. A rainfall deficit of approximately 30% of the mean occurs during all types of El Niño phases. The Mekong River WD is reduced by 1/3 of the mean 7–8 months after all types of El Niño events. We also show increasing trends of SST as high as 0.24°C/decade and SLAs by 41mm/decade. Increasing trends are observed for zonal wind, which is possibly linked to the phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and decreasing trends are observed for P in the north and both WD stations that were analyzed. The likely driving mechanisms and some of the relationships between all observed anomalies are discussed

Violaine Piton and Thierry Delcroix
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Violaine Piton and Thierry Delcroix
Violaine Piton and Thierry Delcroix
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Short summary
The South China Sea is the largest marginal sea in Southeast Asia, and the second busiest maritime route in the world. Its complex climate is influenced by a tropical and a subtropical climate, and by the four adjacent monsoon subsystems. We present a short overview of the long-term mean and variability of five Essential Climate Variables observed over the last 3 decades, including sea surface temperature, sea level, precipitation, surface wind and water discharge from the Mekong and Red Rivers.
The South China Sea is the largest marginal sea in Southeast Asia, and the second busiest...
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