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  1. Abstract

    Atlantic Niño is the Atlantic equivalent of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and it has prominent impacts on regional and global climate. Existing studies suggest that the Atlantic Niño may arise from local atmosphere-ocean interaction and is sometimes triggered by the Atlantic Meridional Mode (AMM), with overall weak ENSO contribution. By analyzing observational datasets and performing numerical model experiments, here we show that the Atlantic Niño can be induced by the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). We find that the enhanced rainfall in the western tropical Indian Ocean during positive IOD weakens the easterly trade winds over the tropical Atlantic, causingmore »warm anomalies in the central and eastern equatorial Atlantic basin and therefore triggering the Atlantic Niño. Our finding suggests that the cross-basin impact from the tropical Indian Ocean plays a more important role in affecting interannual climate variability than previously thought.

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  2. Abstract The subtropical Indian Ocean dipole (SIOD) and Ningaloo Niño are the two dominant modes of interannual climate variability in the subtropical south Indian Ocean. Observations show that the SIOD has been weakening in the recent decades, while Ningaloo Niño has been strengthening. In this study, we investigate the causes for such changes by analyzing climate model experiments using the NCAR Community Earth System Model, version 1 (CESM1). Ensemble-mean results from CESM1 large-ensemble (CESM1-LE) show that the external forcing causes negligible changes in the amplitudes of the SIOD and Ningaloo Niño, suggesting a dominant role of internal climate variability. Meanwhile,more »results from CESM1 pacemaker experiments reveal that the observed changes in the two climate modes cannot be attributed to the effect of sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in either the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean or tropical Indian Ocean. By further comparing different ensemble members from the CESM1-LE, we find that a warm pool dipole mode of decadal variability, with opposite SSTA in the southeast Indian Ocean and the western-central tropical Pacific Ocean plays an important role in driving the observed changes in the SIOD and Ningaloo Niño. These changes in the two climate modes have considerable impacts on precipitation and sea level variabilities in the south Indian Ocean region.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 15, 2023
  3. Abstract Understanding the impact of the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) on El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is important for climate prediction. By analyzing observational data and performing Indian and Pacific Ocean pacemaker experiments using a state-of-the-art climate model, we find that a positive IOD (pIOD) can favor both cold and warm sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) in the tropical Pacific, in contrast to the previously identified pIOD-El Niño connection. The diverse impacts of the pIOD on ENSO are related to SSTA in the Seychelles-Chagos thermocline ridge (SCTR; 60°E-85°E and 7°S-15°S) as part of the warm pole of the pIOD. Specifically, amore »pIOD with SCTR warming can cause warm SSTA in the southeast Indian Ocean, which induces La Niña-like conditions in the tropical Pacific through interbasin interaction processes associated with a recently identified climate phenomenon dubbed the “Warm Pool Dipole”. This study identifies a new pIOD-ENSO relationship and examines the associated mechanisms.« less
  4. Abstract An unprecedented extreme positive Indian Ocean Dipole event (pIOD) occurred in 2019, which has caused widespread disastrous impacts on countries bordering the Indian Ocean, including the East African floods and vast bushfires in Australia. Here we investigate the causes for the 2019 pIOD by analyzing multiple observational datasets and performing numerical model experiments. We find that the 2019 pIOD is triggered in May by easterly wind bursts over the tropical Indian Ocean associated with the dry phase of the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation, and sustained by the local atmosphere-ocean interaction thereafter. During September-November, warm sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA)more »in the central-western tropical Pacific further enhance the Indian Ocean’s easterly winds, bringing the pIOD to an extreme magnitude. The central-western tropical Pacific warm SSTA is strengthened by two consecutive Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) events that originate from the tropical Indian Ocean. Our results highlight the important roles of cross-basin and cross-timescale interactions in generating extreme IOD events. The lack of accurate representation of these interactions may be the root for a short lead time in predicting this extreme pIOD with a state-of-the-art climate forecast model.« less
  5. Abstract The Indian Ocean has received increasing attention for its large impacts on regional and global climate. However, sea surface temperature (SST) variability arising from Indian Ocean internal processes has not been well understood particularly on decadal and longer timescales, and the external influence from the Tropical Pacific has not been quantified. This paper analyzes the interannual-to-decadal SST variability in the Tropical Indian Ocean in observations and explores the external influence from the Pacific versus internal processes within the Indian Ocean using a Linear Inverse Model (LIM). Coupling between Indian Ocean and tropical Pacific SST anomalies (SSTAs) is assessed bothmore »within the LIM dynamical operator and the unpredictable stochastic noise that forces the system. Results show that the observed Indian Ocean Basin (IOB)-wide SSTA pattern is largely a response to the Pacific ENSO forcing, although it in turn has a damping effect on ENSO especially on annual and decadal timescales. On the other hand, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is an Indian Ocean internal mode that can actively affect ENSO; ENSO also has a returning effect on the IOD, which is rather weak on decadal timescale. The third mode is partly associated with the Subtropical Indian Ocean Dipole (SIOD), and it is primarily generated by Indian Ocean internal processes, although a small component of it is coupled with ENSO. Overall, the amplitude of Indian Ocean internally generated SST variability is comparable to that forced by ENSO, and the Indian Ocean tends to actively influence the tropical Pacific. These results suggest that the Indian-Pacific Ocean interaction is a two-way process.« less