Coupled warm pool dynamics in the Indo-Pacific
Project leader: Dr Ming Feng (CSIRO)
Staff, students and associates: Dr Chris Chapman (CSIRO); Ms Rebecca Cowley (CSIRO); Dr Harry Hendon (BoM); Dr Je-Yuan (Andy) Hsu (CSIRO affiliate); Ms Anna Maggiorano (UNSW PhD student); Mr Saurabh Rathore (UTAS/IMAS PhD student).
The Indo-Pacific warm pool hosts the largest global centre of deep convection, the dominant source of latent heating and moisture for the global atmosphere. The warm pool enables important coupled climate modes, such as ENSO, IOD, and MJO. These climate modes are likely the most important sources of enhanced weather and climate prediction on the globe.
A new understanding is building of how coupling at high frequencies and small spatial scales can be important for climate modes, even the mean climate. We aim to advance this frontier through new observations and modelling, grounded in the largescale context of the Indonesian Throughflow and its role as a warm pool connector. In addition, better quantification of upper ocean heat balance of the Indian Ocean and associated ocean transport are important in pinpointing the anthropogenic heat uptakes in the global ocean.
The objectives of the project include:
- Obtain new insights into air-sea coupling in the east Indian Ocean warm pool region northwest of Australia in conjunction with the Year of Maritime Continent experiment, using fast ocean profiling platforms (resolving the very near surface temperature) to measure SST continuously as well as the key atmospheric variables such as humidity, air temperature, vector winds and radiation parameters. Such measurements in the region will be unprecedented.
- Understand coupled model sensitivities in capturing the scale, strength and atmospheric responses to diurnal warming events, and improve our understanding of the impacts of ENSO and MJO on upper ocean thermal and salinity structures in the warm pool.
- Quantify the drivers of the decadal variations of the Indian Ocean heat storage and the poleward heat transport in the Indian Ocean using numerical model outputs, and engage in Indian Ocean Observing System review to design observation programs to monitor the key processes.
Link to the CSHOR science seminar project presentation, July 2021
Recent hemispheric asymmetry in global ocean warming induced by climate change and internal variability
Knowledge of how anthropogenic heat is redistributed in the world oceans has advanced. A research paper published in Nature Communications, led by PhD student, Mr Saurabh Rathore, and co-supervised by Dr Ming Feng, quantified the asymmetric pattern of the global ocean warming in the past decade, when the southern hemisphere oceans absorbed more than 90% of the anthropogenic heating of the ocean. Whereas the greenhouse gas effect drove the overall warming trend of the ocean, the asymmetric warming pattern was most likely due to natural climate variability on the decadal time scale (Rathore et al., 2020). The asymmetry was most observed in the upper 700 m, strongly influenced by an asymmetric mode of climate variability, whereas the deep ocean warming (below 700 m) is more uniform, which can be unambiguously attributed to anthropogenic warming.
Beal, L. M., Vialard, J., Roxy, M. K. and lead authors (Including Feng, M. and Sloyan, B.) 2019: Full Report. IndOOS-2: A roadmap to sustained observations of the Indian Ocean for 2020-2030. CLIVAR-4/2019, GOOS-237, 206 pp. https://doi.org/10.36071/clivar.rp.4.2019.
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Hu, S. Y. Zhang, M. Feng, Y. Du, J. Sprintall, F. Wang, D. Hu, Q. Xie, F. Chai (2019). Interanual to decadal variability of upper ocean salinity in the southern Indian Ocean and the role of the Indonesian Throughflow. Journal of Climate, 32(19), 6403-6421. https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0056.1.
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