Climate Change over the Equatorial Indo-Pacific in Global Warming*

Chie Ihara, Yochanan Kushnir, Mark A. Cane, Victor H. de la Peña
2009 Journal of Climate  
The response of the equatorial Indian Ocean climate to global warming is investigated using model outputs submitted to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report. In all of the analyzed climate models, the SSTs in the western equatorial Indian Ocean warm more than the SSTs in the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean under global warming; the mean SST gradient across the equatorial Indian Ocean is anomalously positive to the west in a warmer twenty-first-century
more » ... y-first-century climate compared to the twentieth-century climate, and it is dynamically consistent with the anomalous westward zonal wind stress and anomalous positive zonal sea level pressure (SLP) gradient to the east at the equator. This change in the zonal SST gradient in the equatorial Indian Ocean is detected even in the lowest-emission scenario, and the size of the change is not necessarily larger in the higher-emission scenario. With respect to the change over the equatorial Pacific in climate projections, the subsurface central Pacific displays the strongest cooling or weakest warming around the thermocline depth compared to that above and below in all of the climate models, whereas changes in the zonal SST gradient and zonal wind stress around the equator are model dependent and not straightforward. * Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Contribution Number 7219.
doi:10.1175/2008jcli2581.1 fatcat:lvrsbvlc3bbsdomkbpi5loyioq