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Interannual Climate Variability over the Tropical Pacific Ocean Induced by the Indian Ocean Dipole through the Indonesian Throughflow

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  • 1 Key Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, and Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
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Abstract

The authors’ previous dynamical study has suggested a link between the Indian and Pacific Ocean interannual climate variations through the transport variations of the Indonesian Throughflow. In this study, the consistency of this oceanic channel link with observations is investigated using correlation analyses of observed ocean temperature, sea surface height, and surface wind data. The analyses show significant lag correlations between the sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in the southeastern tropical Indian Ocean in fall and those in the eastern Pacific cold tongue in the following summer through fall seasons, suggesting potential predictability of ENSO events beyond the period of 1 yr. The dynamics of this teleconnection seem not through the atmospheric bridge, because the wind anomalies in the far western equatorial Pacific in fall have insignificant correlations with the cold tongue anomalies at time lags beyond one season. Correlation analyses between the sea surface height anomalies (SSHA) in the southeastern tropical Indian Ocean and those over the Indo-Pacific basin suggest eastward propagation of the upwelling anomalies from the Indian Ocean into the equatorial Pacific Ocean through the Indonesian Seas. Correlations in the subsurface temperature in the equatorial vertical section of the Pacific Ocean confirm the propagation. In spite of the limitation of the short time series of observations available, the study seems to suggest that the ocean channel connection between the two basins is important for the evolution and predictability of ENSO.

Corresponding author address: Dongliang Yuan, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences CAS Key Lab of Ocean Circulation and Waves, 7 Nanhai Road, Qingdao 266071, China. E-mail: dyuan@qdio.ac.cn

Abstract

The authors’ previous dynamical study has suggested a link between the Indian and Pacific Ocean interannual climate variations through the transport variations of the Indonesian Throughflow. In this study, the consistency of this oceanic channel link with observations is investigated using correlation analyses of observed ocean temperature, sea surface height, and surface wind data. The analyses show significant lag correlations between the sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in the southeastern tropical Indian Ocean in fall and those in the eastern Pacific cold tongue in the following summer through fall seasons, suggesting potential predictability of ENSO events beyond the period of 1 yr. The dynamics of this teleconnection seem not through the atmospheric bridge, because the wind anomalies in the far western equatorial Pacific in fall have insignificant correlations with the cold tongue anomalies at time lags beyond one season. Correlation analyses between the sea surface height anomalies (SSHA) in the southeastern tropical Indian Ocean and those over the Indo-Pacific basin suggest eastward propagation of the upwelling anomalies from the Indian Ocean into the equatorial Pacific Ocean through the Indonesian Seas. Correlations in the subsurface temperature in the equatorial vertical section of the Pacific Ocean confirm the propagation. In spite of the limitation of the short time series of observations available, the study seems to suggest that the ocean channel connection between the two basins is important for the evolution and predictability of ENSO.

Corresponding author address: Dongliang Yuan, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences CAS Key Lab of Ocean Circulation and Waves, 7 Nanhai Road, Qingdao 266071, China. E-mail: dyuan@qdio.ac.cn
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