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Indian Ocean-monsoon coupled interactions and impending monsoon droughts


Krishnan, R and Ramesh, KV and Samala, BK and Meyers, GA and Slingo, JM and Fennessy, MJ, Indian Ocean-monsoon coupled interactions and impending monsoon droughts, Geophysical Research Letters, 33, (8) pp. L08711. ISSN 0094-8276 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1029/2006GL025811


Monsoon droughts over the Indian subcontinent emanate from failures in the seasonal (June-September) monsoon rains. While prolonged dry-spells ("monsoonbreaks") pervade on sub-seasonal/intra-seasonal time-scales, the underlying causes for these long-lasting anomalies remain elusive. Based on analyses of a suite of observed data sets, we report an ocean-atmosphere dynamical coupling on intra-seasonal time-scales, in the tropical Indian Ocean, which is pivotal in forcing extended monsoon-breaks and causing droughts over the subcontinent. This coupling involves a feedback between the monsoonal flow and thermocline depth in the Equatorial Eastern Indian Ocean (EEIO), in which an anomaly of the summer monsoon circulation induces downwelling and maintains a higher-than-normal heat-content. The near-equatorial anomalies induce strong and sustained suppression of monsoon rainfall over the subcontinent. It is concluded that the intraseasonal evolution of the ocean-monsoon coupled system is a vital key to unlocking the dynamics of monsoon droughts. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Social impacts of climate change and variability
UTAS Author:Meyers, GA (Professor Gary Meyers)
ID Code:46098
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:75
Deposited By:Centre for Marine Science
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2011-10-06

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