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Local meridional circulation changes contribute to a projected slowdown of the Indian Ocean Walker circulation

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Title
Local meridional circulation changes contribute to a projected slowdown of the Indian Ocean Walker circulation
Author(s)
Sahil Sharma; Kyung-Ja Ha; Cai, Wenju; Eui-Seok Chung; Tamas Bodai
Publication Date
2022-03
Journal
NPJ CLIMATE AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE, v.5, no.1
Publisher
NATURE PORTFOLIO
Abstract
The weakening of zonal atmospheric circulation, a widely accepted projection of climate change in response to global warming, features a weakening of the Indian Ocean Walker circulation (IWC), with an anomalous ascending motion over the western and anomalous descending motion over the eastern Indian Ocean. The projected IWC weakening has previously been attributed to slower warming in the east than the west, that is, to a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (10D)-like warming pattern. However, such a warming pattern can also be induced by IWC weakening. As a result, the cause-and-effect relationship cannot be easily determined, and the projected change is poorly constrained and highly uncertain. Here, using a suite of coupled climate model simulations under a high-emission scenario, we find that the IWC slowdown is accompanied by not only a positive 10D-like warming pattern but also anomalous meridional circulation that is associated with anomalous descending motion over the eastern Indian Ocean. We further show that the anomalous local meridional circulation is closely linked to enhanced land-sea thermal contrast and is unlikely to result from the positive IOD-like warming pattern, suggesting that the IWC weakening is in part driven by the anomalous local meridional circulation. Our findings underscore the important role of local meridional circulation changes in modulating future IWC changes.
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/11574
DOI
10.1038/s41612-022-00242-w
ISSN
2397-3722
Appears in Collections:
Center for Climate Physics(기후물리 연구단) > 1. Journal Papers (저널논문)
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