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Journal Article

Phase Coherence Between Surrounding Oceans Enhances Precipitation Shortages in Northeast Brazil


Mao,  Y.
External Organizations;

Zou,  Y.
External Organizations;

Alves,  L. M.
External Organizations;

Macau,  E. E. N.
External Organizations;

Taschetto,  A. S.
External Organizations;

Santoso,  A.
External Organizations;


Kurths,  Jürgen
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Mao, Y., Zou, Y., Alves, L. M., Macau, E. E. N., Taschetto, A. S., Santoso, A., Kurths, J. (2022): Phase Coherence Between Surrounding Oceans Enhances Precipitation Shortages in Northeast Brazil. - Geophysical Research Letters, 49, 9, e2021GL097647.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_27315
Understanding the direct and indirect impact of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans on precipitation in the region of Northeast Brazil (NEB) is crucial for monitoring unprecedented drought events. We propose nonlinear methods of phase coherence and generalized event synchronization analysis to understand the underlying mechanism. In particular, the relationships between sea surface temperature (SST) variability and the standard precipitation index are interpreted as direct interactions, while the relationships between surrounding oceans are interpreted as indirect effects on the precipitation. Our results reveal a dominant role of tropical North Atlantic for precipitation deficit and droughts, particularly in recent decades. Meanwhile, the indirect Pacific-North Atlantic phase synchronizations have significant influence on and reinforcement of the droughts in NEB. Furthermore, we find that the instantaneous angular frequencies of precipitation and SST are drastically changed after very strong El Niño and La Niña events, therefore resulting in a higher probability of phase coherence.