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Indo-Pacific Connectivity on Decadal Timescales: Remote Pacific Impacts on Eastern Indian Ocean Variability

Abstract

The climate system of the Indian and Pacific Oceans is intricately linked across a range of timescales from seasonal, interannual to decadal and beyond.  Recent results from high-resolution ocean model hindcasts highlight the importance of remote Pacific forcing – as mediated through ocean dynamics in the Indonesian Throughflow region – for understanding and predicting eastern Indian Ocean variability, which has large impacts for rainfall and drought across the wider Australasian region.  The degree of connectivity between the two ocean basins varies widely on decadal timescales.  However, high-resolution modeling efforts over extended timescales to understand modulations in the connectivity on decadal timescales and beyond are hampered by current computing capabilities.  Paleoceanographic proxy reconstructions based on corals offer a record of climatic variability over extended timescales that can be exploited to understand long-term variations in tropical Indo-Pacific upper-ocean properties.  The proposed project thus aims to further our understanding of the degree of connectivity of the Indo-Pacific climate system on decadal timescales with the use of a series of paleoceanographic proxy reconstructions across the Indo-Pacific warm pool region, complementing a mechanistic understanding of the connections based on high-resolution ocean model hindcasts.

Last updated: August 6, 2012