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Indian Ocean sea surface salinity variations in a coupled model

Vinayachandran, PN and Nanjundiah, Ravi S (2009) Indian Ocean sea surface salinity variations in a coupled model. In: Climate Dynamics, 33 (2-3). pp. 245-263.

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Abstract

The variability of the sea surface salinity (SSS) in the Indian Ocean is studied using a 100-year control simulation of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM 2.0). The monsoon-driven seasonal SSS pattern in the Indian Ocean, marked by low salinity in the east and high salinity in the west, is captured by the model. The model overestimates runoff int the Bay of Bengal due to higher rainfall over the Himalayan-Tibetan regions which drain into the Bay of Bengal through Ganga-Brahmaputra rivers. The outflow of low-salinity water from the Bay of Bengal is to strong in the model. Consequently, the model Indian Ocean SSS is about 1 less than that seen in the climatology. The seasonal Indian Ocean salt balance obtained from the model is consistent with the analysis from climatological data sets. During summer, the large freshwater input into the Bay of Bengal and its redistribution decide the spatial pattern of salinity tendency. During winter, horizontal advection is the dominant contributor to the tendency term. The interannual variability of the SSS in the Indian Ocean is about five times larger than that in coupled model simulations of the North Atlantic Ocean. Regions of large interannual standard deviations are located near river mouths in the Bay of Bengal and in the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean. Both freshwater input into the ocean and advection of this anomalous flux are responsible for the generation of these anomalies. The model simulates 20 significant Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) events and during IOD years large salinity anomalies appear in the equatorial Indian Ocean. The anomalies exist as two zonal bands: negative salinity anomalies to the north of the equator and positive to the south. The SSS anomalies for the years in which IOD is not present and for ENSO years are much weaker than during IOD years. Significant interannual SSS anomalies appear in the Indian Ocean only during IOD years.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer.
Keywords: Indian Ocean;Salinity;Interannual variation;Coupled model; Indian Ocean Dipole.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2009 06:39
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:37
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/21345

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