Interpreting Negative IOD Events Based on the Transfer Routes of Wave Energy in the Upper Ocean

Zimeng Li aGraduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
bInstitute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan

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Hidenori Aiki bInstitute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
cApplication Laboratory, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan

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Abstract

The present study adopts an energy-based approach to interpret the negative phase of Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) events. This is accomplished by diagnosing the output of hindcast experiments from 1958 to 2018 based on a linear ocean model. The authors have performed a composite analysis for a set of negative IOD (nIOD) events, distinguishing between independent nIOD events and concurrent nIOD events with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The focus is on investigating the mechanism of nIOD events in terms of wave energy transfer, employing a linear wave theory that considers the group velocity. The proposed diagnostic scheme offers a unified framework for studying the interaction between equatorial and off-equatorial waves. Both the first and third baroclinic modes exhibit interannual variations characterized by a distinct packet of eastward energy flux associated with equatorial Kelvin waves. During October–December, westerly wind anomalies induce the propagation of eastward-moving equatorial waves, leading to thermocline deepening in the central-eastern equatorial Indian Ocean, a feature absent during neutral IOD years. The development of wave energy demonstrates different patterns during nIOD events of various types. In concurrent nIOD–ENSO years, characterized by strong westerly winds, the intense eastward transfer of wave energy becomes prominent as early as October. This differs significantly from the situation manifested in independent nIOD years. The intensity of the energy-flux streamfunction/potential reaches its peak around November and then rapidly diminishes in December during both types of nIOD years.

Significance Statement

The present study provides an interpretation of wave energy transfer episodes in the upper ocean during the negative phase of the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) based on the diagnosis of hindcast experiments. The results suggest that the reflection of Kelvin and Rossby waves at the eastern and western boundaries of the Indian Ocean (IO), respectively, accompanied by variations in thermocline depth, plays a crucial role in the development process of IOD events. Specifically, during the negative phase of the IOD, the tropical IO exhibits positive signals of energy-flux streamfunction in the Northern Hemisphere, along with positive signals of energy-flux potential associated with westerly wind anomalies occurring in October–December. These findings highlight the significance of these factors in shaping the characteristics of negative IOD events.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding authors: Zimeng Li, lizimeng1995@gmail.com; Hidenori Aiki, aiki@nagoya-u.jp

Abstract

The present study adopts an energy-based approach to interpret the negative phase of Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) events. This is accomplished by diagnosing the output of hindcast experiments from 1958 to 2018 based on a linear ocean model. The authors have performed a composite analysis for a set of negative IOD (nIOD) events, distinguishing between independent nIOD events and concurrent nIOD events with El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The focus is on investigating the mechanism of nIOD events in terms of wave energy transfer, employing a linear wave theory that considers the group velocity. The proposed diagnostic scheme offers a unified framework for studying the interaction between equatorial and off-equatorial waves. Both the first and third baroclinic modes exhibit interannual variations characterized by a distinct packet of eastward energy flux associated with equatorial Kelvin waves. During October–December, westerly wind anomalies induce the propagation of eastward-moving equatorial waves, leading to thermocline deepening in the central-eastern equatorial Indian Ocean, a feature absent during neutral IOD years. The development of wave energy demonstrates different patterns during nIOD events of various types. In concurrent nIOD–ENSO years, characterized by strong westerly winds, the intense eastward transfer of wave energy becomes prominent as early as October. This differs significantly from the situation manifested in independent nIOD years. The intensity of the energy-flux streamfunction/potential reaches its peak around November and then rapidly diminishes in December during both types of nIOD years.

Significance Statement

The present study provides an interpretation of wave energy transfer episodes in the upper ocean during the negative phase of the Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) based on the diagnosis of hindcast experiments. The results suggest that the reflection of Kelvin and Rossby waves at the eastern and western boundaries of the Indian Ocean (IO), respectively, accompanied by variations in thermocline depth, plays a crucial role in the development process of IOD events. Specifically, during the negative phase of the IOD, the tropical IO exhibits positive signals of energy-flux streamfunction in the Northern Hemisphere, along with positive signals of energy-flux potential associated with westerly wind anomalies occurring in October–December. These findings highlight the significance of these factors in shaping the characteristics of negative IOD events.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding authors: Zimeng Li, lizimeng1995@gmail.com; Hidenori Aiki, aiki@nagoya-u.jp
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