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Ocean roles in the TBO transitions of the Indian- Australian monsoon system

  • Author(s): Yu, J.-Y.
  • Weng, S.-P.
  • Farrara, J. D.
  • et al.
Abstract

This study uses a series of coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model (CGCM) experiments to examine the roles of the Indian and Pacific Oceans in the transition phases of the tropospheric biennial oscillation (TBO) in the Indian–Australian monsoon system. In each of the three CGCM experiments, air–sea interactions are restricted to a certain portion of the Indo-Pacific Ocean by including only that portion of the ocean in the ocean model component of the CGCM. The results show that the in-phase TBO transition from a strong (weak) Indian summer monsoon to a strong (weak) Australian summer monsoon occurs more often in the CGCM experiments that include an interactive Pacific Ocean. The out-of-phase TBO transition from a strong (weak) Australian summer monsoon to a weak (strong) Indian summer monsoon occurs more often in the CGCM experiments that include an interactive Indian Ocean. The associated sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies are characterized by an ENSO-type pattern in the Pacific Ocean and basinwide warming/cooling in the Indian Ocean. The Pacific SST anomalies maintain large amplitude during the in-phase transition in the northern autumn and reverse their sign during the out-of-phase transition in the northern spring. On the other hand, the Indian Ocean SST anomalies maintain large amplitude during the out-of-phase monsoon transition and reverse their sign during the in-phase transition. These seasonally dependent evolutions of Indian and Pacific Ocean SST anomalies allow these two oceans to play different roles in the transition phases of the TBO in the Indian–Australian monsoon system.

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