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Indian Ocean response to anomalous conditions in 2006

American Geophysical Union
Publication Date
  • Centre For Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences


[1] The equatorial Indian Ocean (EIO) exhibited anomalous conditions characteristic of an Indian Ocean dipole (IOD) during 2006. The eastern EIO had cold sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA), lower sea level, shallow thermocline and higher chlorophyll than normal. The anomalies in the east, restricted to the south of the equator, were highest off Sumatra. The western pole of the IOD was marked by warm SSTA and deeper thermocline with maxima on either side of the equator. An ocean general circulation model of the Indian Ocean forced by QuikSCAT winds reproduces the IOD of 2006 remarkably well. The switch over to cooling in the east and warming in the west happened during May and July respectively. In the east, airsea heat flux initiated cold SSTA in the model which were sustained later by oceanic processes. In the west, surface heat fluxes and horizontal advection caused warm SSTA and contribution by the latter decreased after August. Citation: Vinayachandran, P. N., J. Kurian, and C. P. Neema (2007), Indian Ocean response to anomalous conditions in 2006, Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L15602, doi:10.1029/2007GL030194.

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