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  • Alory, G., and G. Meyers, 2009: Warming of the Upper Equatorial Indian Ocean and Changes in the Heat Budget (1960-1999). J. Clim., 22, 93-113, DOI: 10.1175/2008JCLI2330.1.

In the equatorial Indian Ocean, sea surface has warmed by 0.5C to 1C over the 1960-1999 period, while waters have cooled at thermocline depth and the net atmospheric heat flux has decreased. Among a set of 20th century climate simulations from 12 coupled models, the CNRM-CM3 model reproduces key observed features of these changes. It is used to investigate changes in the heat budget of the upper equatorial Indian Ocean and identify mechanisms responsible for the warming. By comparing 20th century and control simulations, significant shifts in the mean balance of the heat budget between the pre-industrial and the 1960-1999 periods can be identified. The main cause of the surface warming is a decrease in the upwelling-related oceanic cooling, It occurs in the thermocline dome region due to a slowdown of the wind-driven Ekman pumping. The observed decrease in net heat flux is a negative feedback driven by evaporation, which is enhanced by the equatorial warming and associated strengthening of trade winds.

Full Article: http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1175%2F2008JCLI2330.1

Last Updated: 2009-02-24

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