The South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) is a diagonal band of intense rainfall and deep atmospheric convection extending from the equator to the subtropical South Pacific. Displacement of the SPCZ causes variability in rainfall, tropical-cyclone activity and sea level that affects South Pacific island populations and surrounding ecosystems. In this Review, we synthesize recent advances in understanding the physical mechanisms responsible for the SPCZ location and orientation, its interactions with the principal drivers of tropical climate variability, regional and global effects of the SPCZ and its response to anthropogenic climate change. Emerging insight is beginning to provide a coherent description of the character and variability of the SPCZ over synoptic, intraseasonal, interannual and longer timescales. For example, the diagonal orientation of the SPCZ and its natural variability are both the result of a subtle chain of interactions between the tropical and extratropical atmosphere, forced and modulated by the underlying sea surface temperature gradients. However, persistent biases in, and deficiencies of, existing models limit confidence in future projections. Improved climate models and new methods for regional modelling might better constrain future SPCZ projections, aiding climate change adaptation and planning among vulnerable South Pacific communities.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $8.25 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Vincent, D. G. The South-Pacific convergence zone (SPCZ): A review. Mon. Weather Rev. 122, 1949–1970 (1994). Reviews the state of knowledge of the SPCZ based on observations, theoretical considerations and model studies, and posed key questions.
Hubert, L. F. A subtropical convergence line of the South Pacific: A case study using meteorological satellite data. J. Geophys. Res. 66, 797–812 (1961).
Streten, N. A. Some characteristics of satellite-observed bands of persistent cloudiness over the Southern Hemisphere. Mon. Weather Rev. 101, 486–495 (1973).
Trenberth, K. E. Spatial and temporal variations of the Southern Oscillation. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 102, 639–653 (1976). Discusses the origin of the SPCZ and its variability with ENSO. It introduces the idea of the SPCZ as a graveyard for fronts.
Hoyos, C. D. & Webster, P. J. Evolution and modulation of tropical heating from the last glacial maximum through the twenty-first century. Clim. Dyn. 38, 1501–1519 (2012).
Johnson, N. C. & Xie, S. P. Changes in the sea surface temperature threshold for tropical convection. Nat. Geosci. 3, 842–845 (2010).
Kiladis, G. N., Von Storch, H. & Van Loon, H. Origin of the South Pacific convergence zone. J. Clim. 2, 1185–1195 (1989). Uses an idealized set of climate-model experiments to investigate the role of Australian and South American orography in the origin of the diagonal SPCZ.
Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Climate Change in the Pacific: Scientific Assessment and New Research 257 pp (CSIRO, 2011).
Kuleshov, Y. et al. Extreme weather and climate events and their impacts on island countries in the Western Pacific: cyclones, floods and droughts. Atmos. Clim. Sci. 04, 51441 (2014).
McGree, S., Schreider, S. & Kuleshov, Y. Trends and variability in droughts in the Pacific Islands and Northeast Australia. J. Clim. 29, 8377–8397 (2016).
Vincent, E. M. et al. Interannual variability of the South Pacific Convergence Zone and implications for tropical cyclone genesis. Clim. Dyn. 36, 1881–1896 (2011). Investigates the SPCZ response to ENSO, finding a zonally orientated SPCZ during strong El Niño events and links to tropical-cyclone activity.
Jourdain, N. C. et al. Mesoscale simulation of tropical cyclones in the South Pacific: Climatology and interannual variability. J. Clim. 24, 3–25 (2011).
Menkes, C. E. et al. Comparison of tropical cyclogenesis indices on seasonal to interannual timescales. Clim. Dyn. 38, 301–321 (2012).
Widlansky, M. J. et al. Changes in South Pacific rainfall bands in a warming climate. Nat. Clim. Change 3, 417–423 (2013). Uses a hierarchy of models to show that uncertainty in SPCZ projections is due to competing dynamic and thermodynamic mechanisms.
Brown, J. R., Moise, A. F. & Colman, R. A. The South Pacific Convergence Zone in CMIP5 simulations of historical and future climate. Clim. Dyn. 41, 2179–2197 (2013).
Cai, W. J. et al. More extreme swings of the South Pacific convergence zone due to greenhouse warming. Nature 488, 365–369 (2012). Uses a large ensemble of climate-model simulations to identify an increase in the frequency of ‘zonal SPCZ’ events in a warmer climate.
Haffke, C. & Magnusdottir, G. The South Pacific Convergence Zone in three decades of satellite images. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 118, 10,839–10,849 (2013).
Haffke, C. & Magnusdottir, G. Diurnal cycle of the South Pacific Convergence Zone in 30 years of satellite images. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 120, 9059–9070 (2015).
Kidwell, A., Lee, T., Jo, Y. H. & Yan, X. H. Characterization of the variability of the South Pacific convergence zone using satellite and reanalysis wind products. J. Clim. 29, 1717–1732 (2016).
Zuo, H., Balmaseda, M. A. & Mogensen, K. The new eddy-permitting ORAP5 ocean reanalysis: description, evaluation and uncertainties in climate signals. Clim. Dyn. 49, 791–811 (2017).
Harvey, T., Renwick, J. A., Lorrey, A. M. & Ngari, A. The representation of the South Pacific convergence zone in the twentieth century reanalysis. Mon. Weather. Rev. 147, 841–851 (2019).
Linsley, B. K. et al. Tracking the extent of the South Pacific Convergence Zone since the early 1600s. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. https://doi.org/10.1029/2005gc001115 (2006).
Linsley, B. K., Zhang, P. P., Kaplan, A., Howe, S. S. & Wellington, G. M. Interdecadal-decadal climate variability from multicoral oxygen isotope records in the south Pacific convergence zone region since 1650 A.D. Paleoceanography 23, PA2219 (2008).
Linsley, B. K. et al. SPCZ zonal events and downstream influence on surface ocean conditions in the Indonesian throughflow region. Geophys. Res. Lett. 44, 293–303 (2017).
Partin, J. W. et al. Multidecadal rainfall variability in South Pacific Convergence Zone as revealed by stalagmite geochemistry. Geology 41, 1143–1146 (2013).
Widlansky, M. J., Webster, P. J. & Hoyos, C. D. On the location and orientation of the South Pacific Convergence Zone. Clim. Dyn. 36, 561–578 (2011). Investigates the origin of the SPCZ and identifies the role of the background SST state in promoting the diagonal SPCZ.
Matthews, A. J. A multiscale framework for the origin and variability of the South Pacific Convergence Zone. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 138, 1165–1178 (2012).
van der Wiel, K., Matthews, A. J., Stevens, D. P. & Joshi, M. M. A dynamical framework for the origin of the diagonal South Pacific and South Atlantic convergence zones. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 141, 1997–2010 (2015). Develops a conceptual framework for the diagonal SPCZ based on triggering of convection by Rossby waves.
van der Wiel, K., Matthews, A. J., Joshi, M. M. & Stevens, D. P. The influence of diabatic heating in the South Pacific Convergence Zone on Rossby wave propagation and the mean flow. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 142, 901–910 (2016).
van der Wiel, K., Matthews, A. J., Joshi, M. M. & Stevens, D. P. Why the South Pacific convergence zone is diagonal. Clim. Dyn. 46, 1683–1698 (2016).
Takahashi, K. & Battisti, D. S. Processes controlling the mean tropical Pacific precipitation pattern. Part I: The Andes and the eastern Pacific ITCZ. J. Clim. 20, 3434–3451 (2007).
Takahashi, K. & Battisti, D. S. Processes controlling the mean tropical pacific precipitation pattern. Part II: The SPCZ and the southeast Pacific dry zone. J. Clim. 20, 5696–5706 (2007). Along with its companion paper, outlines the importance of the eastern Pacific dry zone for the formation of the SPCZ.
Lintner, B. R. & Neelin, J. D. Eastern margin variability of the South Pacific convergence zone. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L16701 (2008).
Matthews, A. J., Hoskins, B. J., Slingo, J. M. & Blackburn, M. Development of convection along the SPCZ within a Madden-Julian oscillation. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 122, 669–688 (1996).
Lintner, B. R. & Boos, W. R. Using atmospheric energy transport to quantitatively constrain South Pacific convergence zone shifts during ENSO. J. Clim. 32, 1839–1855 (2019).
Folland, C. K., Renwick, J. A., Salinger, M. J. & Mullan, A. B. Relative influences of the interdecadal Pacific oscillation and ENSO on the South Pacific convergence zone. Geophys. Res. Lett. 29, 21-1–21-4 (2002).
Brown, J. R. et al. Evaluation of the South Pacific Convergence Zone in IPCC AR4 climate model simulations of the twentieth century. J. Clim. 24, 1565–1582 (2011).
Brown, J. R., Moise, A. F. & Delage, F. P. Changes in the South Pacific Convergence Zone in IPCC AR4 future climate projections. Clim. Dyn. 39, 1–19 (2012).
Niznik, M. J., Lintner, B. R., Matthews, A. J. & Widlansky, M. J. The role of tropical–extratropical interaction and synoptic variability in maintaining the South Pacific Convergence Zone in CMIP5 models. J. Clim. 28, 3353–3374 (2015).
Evans, J. P., Bormann, K., Katzfey, J., Dean, S. & Arritt, R. Regional climate model projections of the South Pacific Convergence Zone. Clim. Dyn. 47, 817–829 (2016).
Dutheil, C. et al. Impact of surface temperature biases on climate change projections of the South Pacific Convergence Zone. Clim. Dyn. 53, 3197–3219 (2019).
Kodama, Y. Large-scale common features of subtropical precipitation zones (the Baiu frontal zone, the SPCZ, and the SACZ). Part I: Characteristics of subtropical frontal zones. J. Meteorol. Soc. Jpn. 70, 813–836 (1992).
Kodama, Y. M. Large-scale common features of sub-tropical convergence zones (the Baiu frontal zone, the SPCZ, and the SACZ). Part II: conditions of the circulations for generating the STCZs. J. Meteorol. Soc. Jpn. 71, 581–610 (1993).
Cook, K. H. The South Indian convergence zone and interannual rainfall variability over southern Africa. J. Clim. 13, 3789–3804 (2000).
Kodama, Y. M. Roles of the atmospheric heat sources in maintaining the subtropical convergence zones: an aqua-planet GCM study. J. Atmos. Sci. 56, 4032–4049 (1999).
Hoskins, B. J. & Ambrizzi, T. Rossby-wave propagation on a realistic longitudinally varying flow. J. Atmos. Sci. 50, 1661–1671 (1993).
Webster, P. J. & Holton, J. R. Cross-equatorial response to middle-latitude forcing in a zonally varying basic state. J. Atmos. Sci. 39, 722–733 (1982).
Neelin, J. D., Peters, O. & Hales, K. The transition to strong convection. J. Atmos. Sci. 66, 2367–2384 (2009).
Kalnay, E., Mo, K. C. & Paegle, J. Large-amplitude, short-scale stationary Rossby waves in the Southern Hemisphere: Observations and mechanistic experiments to determine their origin. J. Atmos. Sci. 43, 252–275 (1986).
Madden, R. A. & Julian, P. R. Detection of a 40–50 day oscillation in the zonal wind in the tropical Pacific. J. Atmos. Sci. 28, 702–708 (1971).
Madden, R. A. & Julian, P. R. Description of global-scale circulation cells in the tropics with a 40–50 day period. J. Atmos. Sci. 29, 1109–1123 (1972).
Wheeler, M. C. & Hendon, H. H. An all-season real-time multivariate MJO index: development of an index for monitoring and prediction. Mon. Weather Rev. 132, 1917–1932 (2004).
Trenberth, K. E. & Shea, D. J. On the evolution of the Southern Oscillation. Mon. Weather Rev. 115, 3078–3096 (1987).
van Loon, H. & Shea, D. J. The Southern Oscillation. Part VI: Anomalies of sea level pressure on the Southern Hemisphere and of Pacific sea surface temperature during the development of a warm event. Mon. Weather Rev. 115, 370–379 (1987).
Santoso, A., McPhaden, M. J. & Cai, W. The defining characteristics of ENSO extremes and the strong 2015/2016 El Niño. Rev. Geophys. 55, 1079–1129 (2017).
Borlace, S., Santoso, A., Cai, W. J. & Collins, M. Extreme swings of the South Pacific Convergence Zone and the different types of El Niño events. Geophys. Res. Lett. 41, 4695–4703 (2014).
Trenberth, K. E., Caron, J. M., Stepaniak, D. P. & Worley, S. Evolution of El Niño–Southern Oscillation and global atmospheric surface temperatures. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 107, AAC5-1–AAC5-17 (2002).
Gouriou, Y. & Delcroix, T. Seasonal and ENSO variations of sea surface salinity and temperature in the South Pacific Convergence Zone during 1976–2000. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 107, SRF12-1–SRF12-14 (2002).
Ganachaud, A. et al. The Southwest Pacific Ocean Circulation and Climate Experiment (SPICE). J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 119, 7660–7686 (2014).
Juillet-Leclerc, A. et al. SPCZ migration and ENSO events during the 20th century as revealed by climate proxies from a Fiji coral. Geophys. Res. Lett. 33, L17710 (2006).
Dassie, E. P., Hasson, A., Khodri, M., Lebas, N. & Linsley, B. K. Spatiotemporal variability of the South Pacific Convergence Zone fresh pool eastern front from coral-derived surface salinity data. J. Clim. 31, 3265–3288 (2018).
Tangri, N., Dunbar, R. B., Linsley, B. K. & Mucciarone, D. M. ENSO’s shrinking twentieth-century footprint revealed in a half-millennium coral core from the South Pacific Convergence Zone. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 33, 1136–1150 (2018).
Gorman, M. K. et al. A coral-based reconstruction of sea surface salinity at Sabine Bank, Vanuatu from 1842 to 2007 CE. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 27, PA3226 (2012).
Kilbourne, K. H., Quinn, T. M., Taylor, F. W., Delcroix, T. & Gouriou, Y. El Nino-Southern Oscillation-related salinity variations recorded in the skeletal geochemistry of a Porites coral from Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. Paleoceanogr. Paleoclimatol. 19, PA4002 (2004).
Le Bec, N., Juillet-Leclerc, A., Correge, T., Blamart, D. & Delcroix, T. A coral δ18O record of ENSO driven sea surface salinity variability in Fiji (south-western tropical Pacific). Geophys. Res. Lett. 27, 3897–3900 (2000).
Linsley, B. K., Dunbar, R. B., Lee, D., Tangri, N. & Dassié, E. P. Abrupt northward shift of SPCZ position in the late-1920s indicates coordinated Atlantic and Pacific ITCZ change. Past. Glob. Changes Mag. 25, 52–56 (2017).
Power, S., Casey, T., Folland, C., Colman, A. & Mehta, V. Inter-decadal modulation of the impact of ENSO on Australia. Clim. Dyn. 15, 319–324 (1999).
Newman, M. et al. The Pacific decadal oscillation, revisited. J. Clim. 29, 4399–4427 (2016).
Salinger, M. J., Renwick, J. A. & Mullan, A. B. Interdecadal Pacific oscillation and south Pacific climate. Int. J. Climatol. 21, 1705–1721 (2001).
Deser, C., Phillips, A. S. & Hurrell, J. W. Pacific interdecadal climate variability: Linkages between the tropics and the North Pacific during boreal winter since 1900. J. Clim. 17, 3109–3124 (2004).
Compo, G. P. et al. The twentieth century reanalysis project. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 137, 1–28 (2011).
Bagnato, S., Linsley, B. K., Howe, S. S., Wellington, G. M. & Salinger, J. Coral oxygen isotope records of interdecadal climate variations in the South Pacific Convergence Zone region. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. https://doi.org/10.1029/2004gc000879 (2005).
Maupin, C. R. et al. Persistent decadal-scale rainfall variability in the tropical South Pacific Convergence Zone through the past six centuries. Clim. Past 10, 1319–1332 (2014).
Murphy, B. F., Power, S. B. & McGree, S. The varied impacts of El Niño–Southern Oscillation on Pacific island climates. J. Clim. 27, 4015–4036 (2014).
Griffiths, G. M., Salinger, M. J. & Leleu, I. Trends in extreme daily rainfall across the South Pacific and relationship to the South Pacific Convergence Zone. Int. J. Climatol. 23, 847–869 (2003).
Greene, J. S., Paris, B. & Morrissey, M. Historical changes in extreme precipitation events in the tropical Pacific region. Clim. Res. 34, 1–14 (2007).
McGree, S. et al. An updated assessment of trends and variability in total and extreme rainfall in the western Pacific. Int. J. Climatol. 34, 2775–2791 (2014).
Widlansky, M. J., Timmermann, A., McGregor, S., Stuecker, M. F. & Cai, W. J. An interhemispheric tropical sea level seesaw due to El Niño Taimasa. J. Clim. 27, 1070–1081 (2014).
World Bank Group. Not If, But When: Adapting to Natural Hazards in the Pacific Islands Region — A Policy Note (World Bank Group, 2006).
Magee, A. D., Verdon-Kidd, D. C., Kiem, A. S. & Royle, S. A. Tropical cyclone perceptions, impacts and adaptation in the Southwest Pacific: an urban perspective from Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 16, 1091–1105 (2016).
Widlansky, M. J. et al. Tropical cyclone projections: changing climate threats for Pacific Island defense installations. Weather. Clim. Soc. 11, 3–15 (2019).
Basher, R. E. & Zheng, X. Tropical cyclones in the southwest Pacific: Spatial patterns and relationships to Southern Oscillation and sea surface temperature. J. Clim. 8, 1249–1260 (1995).
Kuleshov, Y., Qi, L., Fawcett, R. & Jones, D. On tropical cyclone activity in the Southern Hemisphere: Trends and the ENSO connection. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L14S08 (2008).
Ramsay, H. A., Leslie, L. M., Lamb, P. J., Richman, M. B. & Leplastrier, M. Interannual variability of tropical cyclones in the Australian region: role of large-scale environment. J. Clim. 21, 1083–1103 (2008).
Larrue, S. & Chiron, T. Les îles de Polynésie française face à l’aléa cyclonique. [VertigO] La revue électronique en sciences de l’environnement 10, 0–0 (2010).
Chappel, L. C. & Bate, P. W. The South Pacific and southeast Indian Ocean tropical cyclone season 1997–98. Aust. Meteorol. Mag. 49, 121–138 (2000).
Timmermann, A., McGregor, S. & Jin, F.-F. Wind effects on past and future regional sea level trends in the southern Indo-Pacific. J. Clim. 23, 4429–4437 (2010).
Raymundo, L. J., Burdick, D., Lapacek, V. A., Miller, R. & Brown, V. Anomalous temperatures and extreme tides: Guam staghorn Acropora succumb to a double threat. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 564, 47–55 (2017).
Lovelock, C. E., Feller, I. C., Reef, R., Hickey, S. & Ball, M. C. Mangrove dieback during fluctuating sea levels. Sci. Rep. 7, 1680 (2017).
Delcroix, T. Observed surface oceanic and atmospheric variability in the tropical Pacific at seasonal and ENSO timescales: A tentative overview. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans 103, 18611–18633 (1998).
Widlansky, M. J., Timmermann, A. & Cai, W. J. Future extreme sea level seesaws in the tropical Pacific. Sci. Adv. 1, e1500560 (2015).
Becker, M. et al. Sea level variations at tropical Pacific islands since 1950. Glob. Planet. Change 80–81, 85–98 (2012).
Han, S.-C., Sauber, J., Pollitz, F. & Ray, R. Sea level rise in the Samoan Islands escalated by viscoelastic relaxation after the 2009 Samoa-Tonga earthquake. J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth 124, 4142–4156 (2019).
Widlansky, M. J. et al. Multimodel ensemble sea level forecasts for tropical Pacific Islands. J. Appl. Meteorol. Climatol. 56, 849–862 (2017).
Garreaud, R. D. & Aceituno, P. Interannual rainfall variability over the South American Altiplano. J. Clim. 14, 2779–2789 (2001).
Vuille, M. & Keimig, F. Interannual variability of summertime convective cloudiness and precipitation in the central Andes derived from ISCCP-B3 data. J. Clim. 17, 3334–3348 (2004).
Sulca, J., Takahashi, K., Espinoza, J.-C., Vuille, M. & Lavado-Casimiro, W. Impacts of different ENSO flavors and tropical Pacific convection variability (ITCZ, SPCZ) on austral summer rainfall in South America, with a focus on Peru. Int. J. Climatol. 38, 420–435 (2018).
Sulca, J., Vuille, M., Silva, Y. & Takahashi, K. Teleconnections between the Peruvian central Andes and northeast Brazil during extreme rainfall events in austral summer. J. Hydrometeorol. 17, 499–515 (2016).
Grimm, A. M. & Silva Dias, P. L. Analysis of tropical–extratropical interactions with influence functions of a barotropic model. J. Atmos. Sci. 52, 3538–3555 (1995).
Liebmann, B., Kiladis, G. N., Marengo, J., Ambrizzi, T. & Glick, J. D. Submonthly convective variability over South America and the South Atlantic convergence zone. J. Clim. 12, 1877–1891 (1999).
Vera, C., Silvestri, G., Barros, V. & Carril, A. Differences in El Niño response over the Southern Hemisphere. J. Clim. 17, 1741–1753 (2004).
Clem, K. R. & Renwick, J. A. Austral spring Southern Hemisphere circulation and temperature changes and links to the SPCZ. J. Clim. 28, 7371–7384 (2015).
Clem, K. R., Lintner, B. R., Broccoli, A. J. & Miller, J. R. Role of the South Pacific convergence zone in West Antarctic decadal climate variability. Geophys. Res. Lett. 46, 6900–6909 (2019).
Held, I. M. & Soden, B. J. Robust responses of the hydrological cycle to global warming. J. Clim. 19, 5686–5699 (2006).
Christensen, J. H. et al. in Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis (eds Stocker, T. F. et al.) 1217–1308 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2013).
Xie, S.-P. et al. Global warming pattern formation: sea surface temperature and rainfall. J. Clim. 23, 966–986 (2010).
Chadwick, R., Boutle, I. & Martin, G. Spatial patterns of precipitation change in CMIP5: why the rich do not get richer in the tropics. J. Clim. 26, 3803–3822 (2013).
McGree, S. et al. Recent changes in mean and extreme temperature and precipitation in the Western Pacific Islands. J. Clim. 32, 4919–4941 (2019).
Salinger, M. J., McGree, S., Beucher, F., Power, S. B. & Delage, F. A new index for variations in the position of the South Pacific convergence zone 1910/11–2011/2012. Clim. Dyn. 43, 881–892 (2014).
Meehl, G. A. et al. The WCRP CMIP3 multimodel dataset: A new era in climate change research. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 88, 1383–1394 (2007).
Taylor, K. E., Stouffer, R. J. & Meehl, G. A. An overview of CMIP5 and the experiment design. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 93, 485–498 (2012).
Eyring, V. et al. Overview of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) experimental design and organization. Geosci. Model Dev. 9, 1937–1958 (2016).
Bellenger, H., Guilyardi, E., Leloup, J., Lengaigne, M. & Vialard, J. ENSO representation in climate models: from CMIP3 to CMIP5. Clim. Dyn. 42, 1999–2018 (2014).
Grose, M. R. et al. Assessment of the CMIP5 global climate model simulations of the western tropical Pacific climate system and comparison to CMIP3. Int. J. Climatol. 34, 3382–3399 (2014).
Li, G. & Xie, S.-P. Tropical biases in CMIP5 multimodel ensemble: the excessive equatorial Pacific cold tongue and double ITCZ problems. J. Clim. 27, 1765–1780 (2014).
Brown, J. N., Matear, R. J., Brown, J. R. & Katzfey, J. Precipitation projections in the tropical Pacific are sensitive to different types of SST bias adjustment. Geophys. Res. Lett. 42, 10856–10866 (2015).
Ham, Y.-G. & Kug, J.-S. ENSO amplitude changes due to greenhouse warming in CMIP5: Role of mean tropical precipitation in the twentieth century. Geophys. Res. Lett. 43, 422–430 (2016).
Niznik, M. J. & Lintner, B. R. Circulation, moisture, and precipitation relationships along the South Pacific convergence zone in reanalyses and CMIP5 models. J. Clim. 26, 10174–10192 (2013).
Collins, M. et al. The impact of global warming on the tropical Pacific Ocean and El Niño. Nat. Geosci. 3, 391–397 (2010).
Power, S., Delage, F., Chung, C., Kociuba, G. & Keay, K. Robust twenty-first-century projections of El Niño and related precipitation variability. Nature 502, 541–545 (2013).
Cai, W. et al. ENSO and greenhouse warming. Nat. Clim. Change 5, 849–859 (2015).
Cai, W. et al. Increasing frequency of extreme El Niño events due to greenhouse warming. Nat. Clim. Change 4, 111–116 (2014).
Chung, C. T. Y. & Power, S. B. Modelled rainfall response to strong El Niño sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical pacific. J. Clim. 28, 3133–3151 (2015).
Capotondi, A. et al. Understanding ENSO diversity. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 96, 921–938 (2015).
Emile-Geay, J. et al. A global multiproxy database for temperature reconstructions of the Common Era. Sci. Data 4, 170088 (2017).
Atsawawaranunt, K. et al. The SISAL database: A global resource to document oxygen and carbon isotope records from speleothems. Earth Syst. Sci. Data 10, 1687–1713 (2018).
Dassie, E. et al. Saving our marine archives. Eos 98, 32–36 (2017).
Saint-Lu, M., Braconnot, P., Leloup, J., Lengaigne, M. & Marti, O. Changes in the ENSO/SPCZ relationship from past to future climates. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 412, 18–24 (2015).
Zhou, Z.-Q. & Xie, S.-P. Effects of climatological model biases on the projection of tropical climate change. J. Clim. 28, 9909–9917 (2015).
Xie, P. & Arkin, P. A. Global precipitation: a 17-year monthly analysis based on gauge observations, satellite estimates, and numerical model outputs. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 78, 2539–2558 (1997).
Kanamitsu, M. et al. NCEP–DOE AMIP-II reanalysis (R-2). Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 83, 1631–1644 (2002).
Huang, B. et al. Extended reconstructed sea surface temperature, version 5 (ERSSTv5): upgrades, validations, and intercomparisons. J. Clim. 30, 8179–8205 (2017).
Knapp, K. R., Kruk, M. C., Levinson, D. H., Diamond, H. J. & Neumann, C. J. The International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship (IBTrACS): Unifying tropical cyclone data. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 91, 363–376 (2010).
Le Traon, P. Y. et al. From observation to information and users: the Copernicus Marine Service perspective. Front. Mar. Sci. 6, 234 (2019).
Caldwell, P. C., Merrifield, M. A. & Thompson, P. R. in The Joint Archive for Sea Level Holdings, NCEI Accession 0019568 (NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, 2015).
Huffman, G. J. et al. The Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) combined precipitation dataset. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 78, 5–20 (1997).
J.R.B. acknowledges support from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes (CE170100023).
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information
Nature Reviews Earth & Environment thanks Judson Partin, Leila Carvalho and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Brown, J.R., Lengaigne, M., Lintner, B.R. et al. South Pacific Convergence Zone dynamics, variability and impacts in a changing climate. Nat Rev Earth Environ 1, 530–543 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43017-020-0078-2
Theoretical and Applied Climatology (2021)
Characterization of south central Pacific Ocean wind regimes in present and future climate for pearl farming application
Marine Pollution Bulletin (2020)