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Science. 1994 Apr 1;264(5155):72-4.

El nino chaos: overlapping of resonances between the seasonal cycle and the pacific ocean-atmosphere oscillator.


The El NiƱo-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle is modeled as a low-order chaotic process driven by the seasonal cycle. A simple model suggests that the equatorial Pacific ocean-atmosphere oscillator can go into nonlinear resonance with the seasonal cycle and that with strong enough coupling between the ocean and the atmosphere, the system may become chaotic as a result of irregular jumping of the ocean-atmosphere system among different nonlinear resonances. An analysis of a time series from an ENSO prediction model is consistent with the low-order chaos mechanism.

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