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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-86
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2019-86
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 19 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 19 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

A Comparison of Ocean Model Results with Satellite Observations during the Development of the strong 1997–98 El Niño

David J. Webb, Andrew C. Coward, and Helen M. Snaith David J. Webb et al.
  • National Oceanography Centre, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK

Abstract. Satellite data from the equatorial Pacific is compared with results from a high resolution ocean model during a period including the strong El Niño of 1997–98. The results show that the ocean model realistically captures the changes in sea surface temperature and the propagation of the annual Rossby wave although it may overestimate the reduced energy of tropical instability waves during development of an El Niño. The results provide additional confidence in the oceanic mechanisms which model analysis implicated as being responsible for the development of both the 1982–83 and the 1997–98 El Niños.

David J. Webb et al.
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David J. Webb et al.
David J. Webb et al.
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Short summary
Recent analysis of data from a high resolution global ocean model showed, in conflict with conventional theory, that the North Equatorial Counter Current was responsible for the unusually warm water which triggered the strong El Niños of 1982–83 and 1997–98. In this paper some of the key physics deduced from the model results is tested against satellite data from the 1997–98 event. The results show that the model closely followed reality during the period further supporting the new mechanisms.
Recent analysis of data from a high resolution global ocean model showed, in conflict with...
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