Three putative types of El Nino revealed by spatial variability in impact on Australian wheat yield

Potgieter, Andries B. and Hammer, Graeme L. and Meinke, Holger and Stone, Roger C. and Goddard, Lisa (2005) Three putative types of El Nino revealed by spatial variability in impact on Australian wheat yield. Journal of Climate, 18 (10). pp. 1566-1574. ISSN 0894-8755

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The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon signficantly impacts rainfall and ensuing crop yields in many parts of the world. In Australia, El Nino events are often associated with severe drought conditions. However, El Nino events differ spatially and temporally in their manifestations and impacts, reducing the relevance of ENSO-based seasonal forecasts. In this analysis, three putative types of El Nino are identified among 24 occurrences since the beginning of the twentieth century. The three types are based on coherent spatial patterns ('footprints') found in the El Nino impact on Australian wheat yield. This bioindicator reveals aligned spatial patterns in rainfall anomalies, indicating linkage to atmospheric drivers. Analysis of the associated ocean-atmosphere dynamics identifies three types of El Nino differing in the timing and onset and location of major ocean temperature and atmospheric pressure anomalies. Potential causal mechanisms associated with these differences in anomaly patterns need to be investigated further using the increasing capabilities of general circulation models. Any improved predictability would be extremely valuable in forecasting effects of individual El Nino events on agricultural systems.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Information from this analysis has proven useful for major wheat exporters and commodity traders. This manuscript highlights the world-wide recognition of work in south-east Queensland on climate change and variability links to world agrocultural production and food security. By definition, this type of work needs interdisciplinary effort and multi-agency cooperation. © Copyright [2005] American Meteorological Society (AMS).
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:13
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: El Nino; Australia; Australian; wheat; yield; atmospheric pressure; biomarkers; drought; plants (botany)
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070104 Agricultural Spatial Analysis and Modelling
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070301 Agro-ecosystem Functionand Prediction
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960304 Climate Variability (excl. Social Impacts)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1175/JCLI3349.1

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