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Curious Case of Indian Ocean Warming

Roxy, M and Kapoor, R and Terray, P and Masson, S (2014) Curious Case of Indian Ocean Warming. Journal of Climate, 27. pp. 8501-8509.

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Recent studies have pointed out an increased warming over the Indian Ocean warm pool (the central-eastern Indian Ocean characterized by sea surface temperatures greater than 28.0°C) during the past half-century, although the reasons behind this monotonous warming are still debated. The results here reveal a larger picture—namely, that the western tropical Indian Ocean has been warming for more than a century, at a rate faster than any other region of the tropical oceans, and turns out to be the largest contributor to the overall trend in the global mean sea surface temperature (SST). During 1901–2012, while the Indian Ocean warm pool went through an increase of 0.7°C, the western Indian Ocean experienced anomalous warming of 1.2°C in summer SSTs. The warming of the generally cool western Indian Ocean against the rest of the tropical warm pool region alters the zonal SST gradients, and has the potential to change the Asian monsoon circulation and rainfall, as well as alter the marine food webs in this biologically productive region. The current study using observations and global coupled ocean–atmosphere model simulations gives compelling evidence that, besides direct contribution from greenhouse warming, the long-term warming trend over the western Indian Ocean during summer is highly dependent on the asymmetry in the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) teleconnection, and the positive SST skewness associated with ENSO during recent decades.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to American Meteorological Society
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indian Ocean, Atmosphere-ocean interaction, El Nino, ENSO, Sea surface temperature, Climate change
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2015 09:21
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 09:21

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