Advanced ENSO Theory: The Delayed Oscillator
Here we present a more technical discussion of
the essential physical mechanism leading to the El- Niño Southern
Oscillation (ENSO). The theory described here for the ENSO mechanism was
originally postulated in a series of papers that were published in the late
1980's (Schopf and Suarez, 1987; Battisti, 1988; Suarez and Schopf, 1988;
Battisti and Hirst, 1989). This theory is known as the delayed oscillator.
In order to illustrate the central aspects of the delayed oscillator, we
will rely on some idealized numerical calculations. After the basics of
the theory have been shown in the idealized setting we will show observational
evidence that the delayed oscillator is operating in the tropical Pacific
Ocean. This section also makes use of ideas originally put forward in the
papers of Wakata and Sarachik (1991), Philander et al. (1984), and Zebiak
and Cane (1987).