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Interdecadal weakening of the cross-equatorial flows over the Maritime Continent during the boreal summer in the mid-1990s: drivers and physical processes

Zhao, X., Dong, B. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0809-7911 and Lu, R. (2021) Interdecadal weakening of the cross-equatorial flows over the Maritime Continent during the boreal summer in the mid-1990s: drivers and physical processes. Climate Dynamics. ISSN 0930-7575

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00382-021-05692-1

Abstract/Summary

In this study, the cross-equatorial flows (CEF) on both high and low level (HCEF/LCEF) troposphere over the Maritime Continent (MC) in boreal summer are found to have experienced an interdecadal weakening in the mid-1990s based on both JRA55 and NCEP reanalyses. The outputs of 8 coupled models in CMIP6 are used to investigate drivers and the corresponding mechanisms. Model results show that the role of external forcing is weak in the interdecadal weakening of CEF. By contrast, the observed interdecadal weakening of both HCEF and LCEF can be largely explained by internal variability associated with a negative phase of the interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO). Associated with negative IPO are anomalous divergence (convergence), enhanced precipitation over MC and anomalous cyclonic (anticyclonic) circulations, reduced precipitation over western North Pacific (WNP) in the upper (lower) troposphere. Sensitivity experiments based on MetUM-GA6 further manifest that this IPO phase transition can lead to the interdecadal weakening of CEF, in which the central tropical Pacific (CTP) sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies play a dominant role. The cold SST anomalies in CTP lead to reduced local convection and trigger enhanced convection over MC through changes in the Walker circulation. The enhanced convection over MC leads to a change in local Hadley circulation over the western Pacific sector. This change is characterized by anomalous ascents over MC, southerlies in the upper troposphere, descents and reduced precipitation over WNP and northerlies in the lower troposphere, leading to the weakening of CEF. Meanwhile, positive SST anomalies over MC associated with negative IPO also make a contribution to the weakening of CEF by inducing a change in the Hadley circulation in the western Pacific sector through similar processes.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:96385
Publisher:Springer

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