Contribution of Pacific wind stress to multi-decadal variations in upper-ocean heat content and sea level in the tropical south Indian Ocean.

Schwarzkopf, Franziska U. and Böning, Claus W. (2011) Contribution of Pacific wind stress to multi-decadal variations in upper-ocean heat content and sea level in the tropical south Indian Ocean. Open Access Geophysical Research Letters, 38 . L12602. DOI 10.1029/2011GL047651.

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Abstract

Reconstructions of the spatial pattern of recent multi-decadal sea level trends in the Indian Ocean (IO) indicate a zonally-extended band in the southern tropics where sea level has substantially fallen between the 1960s and 1990s; the decline is consistent with the observed subsurface cooling associated with a shoaling thermocline in this region. Here the origin and spatio-temporal characteristics of these trends are elucidated by a sequence of ocean model
simulations. Whereas interannual variability in the southwestern tropical IO appears mainly governed by IO atmospheric forcing, longer term changes in the south tropical IO involve a strong contribution from the western Pacific via wave transmission of thermocline anomalies
through the Indonesian Archipelago, and their subsequent westward propagation by baroclinic Rossby waves. The late 20th-century IO subsurface cooling trend reversed in the 1990s, reflecting the major regime shift in the tropical Pacific easterlies associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Oceanography; South Indian Ocean; sea level change;
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 754 > A2
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
OceanRep > SFB 754
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2011GL047651
ISSN: 0094-8276
Projects: SFB754
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 24 May 2011 11:53
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2017 09:11
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/11871

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