What caused the abrupt reduction of the South Indian Ocean heat & sea level in 2014–2016 and the ensuing quick recovery?

A decade-long increase of the basin-wide sea level and heat content in the subtropical southern Indian Ocean (SIO) during 2004–2013 ended abruptly, immediately following the onset of the strong 2014–2016 El Niño. Interestingly, this unprecedented drop of the SIO heat quickly recovered during the weak 2017–2018 La Niña. A study recently published in Science Advances... Continue Reading →

Accelerated warming of the Antarctic interior caused by moist air intrusion from the Weddell Sea

In a new study published in Nature Climate Change, Clem and colleagues reported that the South Pole has experienced a record-high warming of 1.81 ± 1.02°C during the last 30 years, three times larger than the global average. They used observational records to show that the recent warming of the South Pole, which started around 2000 following... Continue Reading →

Compensating change in the Indo-Pacific MOC in response to the Atlantic MOC slowdown

The climate model simulations forced with increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gases consistently project a robust decline of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) and a strengthening of the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds, which may in turn result in an increase in the Southern Ocean MOC. In a research article recently accepted in the Journal of Physical... Continue Reading →

Co-variability of Pacific‐Atlantic SST contrast, Caribbean Sea tropical rainfall and U.S. summer to fall rainfall variability

In the U.S., peak summer (June-July) rainfall variability, especially east of the Rockies, is largely linked to North Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies and associated variations in the Bermuda High. However, these well-established relationships almost completely break down in late summer to mid fall (August-October). Thus, operational seasonal forecast models have generally low skill... Continue Reading →

While the warming of northern hemisphere oceans almost stalled, the southern hemisphere oceans are heating up

Observations from Argo floats and satellite shows that the rate of global ocean warming during 2005-2015 is largely consistent with the climate simulations under the increasing greenhouse gas concentration. However, during that period, the southern hemisphere oceans have absorbed up to 98% of the net global ocean heat gain, while the warming of northern hemisphere... Continue Reading →

Future sea-ice loss slows down the subtropical Pacific shallow overturning cell and enhances the tropical warming

Under the high emission scenario for the future (RCP 8.5), a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean (i.e., sea-ice extent less than 10-6 km2 for at least five consecutive years) in northern summer is likely before 2050. A decrease in Antarctic sea-ice extent is also expected during the 21st century, but at a slower rate with large uncertainty.... Continue Reading →

MJO-induced drying air across Central America may be a precursor to active weeks of U.S. tornadoes

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center (NOAA SPC) provides one- to eight-day severe weather forecast for the U.S. that includes tornado watch. To extend the current severe weather forecast beyond eight days to 2 - 4 weeks (i.e., subseasonal time scale), many studies have looked into the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), a patch... Continue Reading →

Spatiotemporal diversity of Atlantic Niño and associated rainfall variability over West Africa and South America

A phenomenon known as Atlantic Niño is characterized by the appearance of warm sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) in the eastern equatorial Atlantic in northern summer. When it attains its full strength, it increases rainfall and the frequency of extreme flooding over the West African countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea and in northeastern South... Continue Reading →

Increasing poleward intrusion of the Circumpolar Deep Water and its impact on the changing ocean-biogeochemistry of the Southern Ocean

A study published in Nature Geoscience (Bronselaer et al., 2020) analyzed new observations from autonomous floats with ocean-biogeochemical sensors (Bio-Argo) along with historical shipboard ocean measurements to document changes in Southern Ocean physical and ocean-biogeochemical variables (i.e., temperature, salinity, pH, concentrations of nitrate, dissolved inorganic carbon and oxygen) during the last two decades. Due to... Continue Reading →

Pantropical response to global warming and the emergence of a La Nina-like mean state trend

During the past century, the tropical Pacific Ocean has warmed significantly less than the other tropical oceans  in response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs). This La Nina-like warming trend in the observations is in stark contrast to the El Nino-like warming trend projected by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) models for both the 20th... Continue Reading →

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