Upwelling of cold water in the equatorial Atlantic and Pacific oceans brings nutrients to the surface and promotes primary productivity, which in turn affects other trophic levels within fisheries and coastal ecosystems more broadly.
The equatorial Eastern Indian Ocean (EIO), in contrast, sees upwelling in a warm pool that not only affects coastal ecosystems but also could significantly affect global climate due to the importance of this region to the El Niño Southern Oscillation.
A recently published article in the Journal of Physical Oceanography written by Chen et al., and supported by CPO’s Climate Variability and Predictability (CVP) program, explores remote and local forcing that drives the interannual variability of EIO upwelling by analyzing observations and performing experiments in the HYCOM ocean model.
The authors conclude that “during boreal summer-fall when the mean thermocline is relatively shallow, the sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) is primarily driven by upwelling process, with comparable contributions from remote and local forcing effects. In contrast, during boreal winter-spring (November-April) when the mean thermocline is relatively deep, SSTA is controlled by surface heat flux, and decoupled from thermocline variability. Advection affects interannual SSTA in all cases.”
To access the full paper, visit: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-15-0117.1
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