Journal cover Journal topic
Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
28 Feb 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Ocean Science (OS) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Electromagnetic characteristics of ENSO
Johannes Petereit1,2, Jan Saynisch1, Christopher Irrgang1, Tobias Weber1, and Maik Thomas1,2 1GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
2Freie Universität Berlin, Institute of Metereology, Berlin, Germany
Abstract. The motion of electrically conducting sea water through Earth's magnetic field induces secondary electromagnetic fields. Due to its periodicity, the oceanic tidal-induced magnetic field is easily separable from magnetic field measurements and therefore detectable. These tidal-induced signatures in the electromagnetic fields are also sensitive to changes in oceanic temperature and salinity distributions. We investigate the impact of oceanic heat and salinity changes related to the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on oceanic tidal-induced magnetic fields. Hydrographic data containing characteristic ENSO dynamics have been derived from a coupled ocean-atmosphere simulation covering a period of 50 years. By applying a 3D induction model the corresponding tidal-induced magnetic signals have been calculated. By means of the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI), based on sea surface temperature anomalies, and the Magnetic Niño Index (MaNI), based on anomalies in the oceanic tidal-induced magnetic field, we demonstrate that evidence of developing ENSO events are found in the oceanic magnetic field statistically 4 months earlier than in sea surface temperatures. The analysis of the spatio-temporal progression of the oceanic magnetic field anomalies offers a deeper understanding on the underlying oceanic processes and is used to test and validate the initial findings.
Citation: Petereit, J., Saynisch, J., Irrgang, C., Weber, T., and Thomas, M.: Electromagnetic characteristics of ENSO, Ocean Sci. Discuss.,, in review, 2018.
Johannes Petereit et al.
Johannes Petereit et al.


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Short summary
The study finds that changes of seawater temperature due to El Nino and La Nina, anomalous warm and cold events, are in principle detectable by means of the oceanic tidal induced magnetic field. Furthermore, subsurface processes in the onset of those anomalous events lead the surface processes by several month. These effect cause a lead in the oceanic tidal induced magnetic field signals over seasurface temperature signals.
The study finds that changes of seawater temperature due to El Nino and La Nina, anomalous warm...