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Modeling decadal changes on the Indian Ocean section 15 at 32°S

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Murray, RJ and Bindoff, NL and Reason, CJC (2007) Modeling decadal changes on the Indian Ocean section 15 at 32°S. Journal of Climate, 20 (13). pp. 3106-3130. ISSN 0894-8755

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Abstract

A near-global ocean model with resolution enhanced in the southern Indian Ocean has been spun up to seasonal equilibrium and then driven by NCEP–NCAR reanalysis 1 monthly mean forcings and Hadley SSTs over the period 1948–2002. The aim was to simulate changes in the subsurface properties observed in hydrographic surveys at 32°S in the Indian Ocean in 1965, 1987, and 2002. These surveys showed a zonally averaged cooling on isopycnals of 0.5° and 0.3°C in mode and intermediate waters between 1965 and 1987 and a warming of the mode water coupled with a continued cooling of the intermediate water between 1987 and 2002. The major changes in isopycnal depth and temperature modeled in this study were confined to the mode water and were qualitatively similar to those observed but concentrated in a lower density class and in the eastern half of the section. The dominant changes here were multidecadal, with maximum temperatures on the σθ = 26.7 kg m−3 isopycnal being reached in 1968 and minimum temperatures in 1990. The simulations showed a propagation of interannual anomalies toward the section from a region of deep late winter mixed layers in the southeast Indian Ocean within a period of several years. Surface temperatures in this region were lowest in the 1960s and highest in the late 1980s. Temperatures on isopycnals showed the opposite variation, consistent with SST having the controlling effect on mixed layer density and depth. Isopycnal depths within the mode water were strongly correlated with temperature, implying a redistribution of mode water density classes, the greatest volume of mode water being produced in a higher density class (σθ = 26.8–27.0 kg m–3) during the period of cooler surface forcing in the 1960s and 1970s than during the warmer period following (σθ = 26.6–26.8 kg m–3).

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Climate
Publisher: American Meteorological Society
Page Range: pp. 3106-3130
ISSN: 0894-8755
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1175/JCLI4160.1
Additional Information:

© 2007 American Meteorological Society

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:42
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:36
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