Diaz, H. F., M. P. Hoerling, and J. K. Eischeid, 2001: ENSO variability, teleconnections, and climate change. Int. J. Climatol., 21, 1845-1862.


An overview is presented of the principal features of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnections in terms of regional patterns of surface temperature, precipitation and mid-tropospheric atmospheric circulation. The discussion is cast in the context of variations in the associations over time, with decadal scale changes emphasized. In the five decades or so for which we have adequate records to reliably analyse the global aspects of ENSO effects on regional climates around the world, we have witnessed one major decadal scale change in the overall pattern of sea-surface temperatures (SST) in the global ocean, and concomitant changes in the atmospheric response to those changes. The analysis underscores the connection between low frequency changes in tropical SST, ENSO and decadal scale changes in the general atmospheric circulation, pointing to the complex interplay between the canonical ENSO system, slow changes in SST in the Indo-Pacific over the last century, and long-term changes in the atmospheric circulation itself.