Journal cover Journal topic
Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
14 Feb 2008
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript for further review has not been submitted.
Response of regional climate and glacier ice proxies to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the subtropical Andes
E. Dietze1,2, A. Kleber1, and M. Schwikowski2 1Institute of Geography, Technische Universität Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
2Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
Abstract. El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is an important element of earth's ocean-climate system. To further understand its past variability, proxy records from climate archives need to be studied. Ice cores from high alpine glaciers may contain high resolution ENSO proxy information, given the glacier site is climatologically sensitive to ENSO. We investigated signals of ENSO in the climate of the subtropical Andes in the proximity of Cerro Tapado glacier (30°08' S, 69°55' W, 5550 m a.s.l.), where a 36 m long ice core was drilled in 1999 (Ginot, 2001). We used annual and semi-annual precipitation and temperature time series from regional meteorological stations and interpolated grids for correlation analyses with ENSO indices and ice core-derived proxies (net accumulation, stable isotope ratio δ18O, major ion concentrations). The total time period investigated here comprises 1900 to 2000, but varies with data sets. Only in the western, i.e. Mediterranean Andes precipitation is higher (lower) during El Niño (La Niña) events, especially at higher altitudes, due to the latitudinal shift of frontal activity during austral winters. However, the temperature response to ENSO is more stable in space and time, being higher (lower) during El Niño (La Niña) events in most of the subtropical Andes all year long. From a northwest to southeast teleconnection gradient, we suggest a regional water vapour feedback triggers temperature anomalies as a function of ENSO-related changes in regional pressure systems, Pacific sea surface temperature and tropical moisture input. Tapado glacier ice proxies are found to be predominantly connected to eastern Andean summer rain climate, which contradicts previous studies and the modern mean spatial boundary between subtropical summer and winter rain climate derived from the grid data. The only ice core proxy showing a response to ENSO is the major ion concentrations, via local temperature indicating reduced sublimation and mineral dust input during El Niño years.

Citation: Dietze, E., Kleber, A., and Schwikowski, M.: Response of regional climate and glacier ice proxies to El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the subtropical Andes, Clim. Past Discuss.,, in review, 2008.
E. Dietze et al.
Interactive discussionStatus: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version      Supplement - Supplement
SC S21: 'Ellaborate suggested contradiction', Edgar Pavia, 14 Mar 2008 Printer-friendly Version 
RC S41: 'Referee comment', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Mar 2008 Printer-friendly Version 
RC S114: 'Review', Anonymous Referee #2, 24 Apr 2008 Printer-friendly Version 
EC S130: 'editor's comment', Valérie Masson-Delmotte, 25 Apr 2008 Printer-friendly Version 
E. Dietze et al.
E. Dietze et al.


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