Recent trends in sea level pressure in the Indian Ocean region
Copsey, D., Sutton, R. and Knight, J. R. (2006) Recent trends in sea level pressure in the Indian Ocean region. Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (19). ISSN 0094-8276
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2006GL027175
During the second half of the twentieth century the Indian Ocean exhibited a rapid rise in sea surface temperatures (SST). It has been argued - largely on the basis of experiments with atmospheric GCMs - that this rapid warming was an important cause of remote changes in climate, in particular an increasing trend in the North Atlantic Oscillation Index and decreases in African rainfall. Here however we present evidence that the Indian Ocean warming was associated with local increases in sea level pressure (SLP). These increases are inconsistent with results from experiments in which an atmospheric GCM is forced by historical SST, which show robust decreases in SLP. The clear discrepancy between the observed and simulated trends in SLP suggests that the response of some atmospheric GCMs to the Indian Ocean warming may not provide a reliable guide to the behaviour of the real world.