Climate Dynamics

, Volume 34, Issue 7–8, pp 1059–1071

Interdecadal shift in the relationship between the East Asian summer monsoon and the tropical Indian Ocean



In this work, the authors investigate changes in the interannual relationship between the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and the tropical Indian Ocean (IO) in the late 1970s. By contrasting the correlations of the EASM index (EASMI) with the summer IO sea surface temperature anomaly (SSTA) between 1953–1975 and 1978–2000, a pronounced different correlation pattern is found in the tropical IO. The SSTA pattern similar to the positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) shows a strongly positive correlation with the EASMI in 1953–1975. But in 1978–2000, significant negative correlation appears in the northern IO and the IOD-like correlation pattern disappears. It is indicated that the summer strong IOD events in 1953–1975 can cause a weaker-than-normal western North Pacific (WNP) subtropical high, which tends to favor a strong EASM. In 1978–2000, the connection between the summer IOD and the WNP circulation is disrupted by the climate shift. Instead, the northern IO shows a close connection with the WNP circulation in 1978–2000. The warming over the northern IO is associated with the significant enhanced 500 hPa geopotential height and an anomalous anticyclone over the WNP. The change in the IO–EASM relationship is attributed to the interdecadal change of the background state of the ocean–atmosphere system and the interaction between the ENSO and IO. In recent decades, the tropical IO and tropical Pacific have a warmer mean SST, which has likely strengthened (weakened) the influence of the northern IO (IOD) on the EASM. In addition, due to the increase in the ENSO variability along with the higher mean equatorial eastern Pacific SST in 1978–2000, the influence of ENSO on the East Asian summer circulation experiences a significant strengthening after the late 1970s. Because the warming over the northern IO is associated with the significant warming in the equatorial eastern Pacific, the strengthened ENSO–EASM relationship has likely also contributed to the strengthened relationship between the northern IO and the EASM in 1978–2000.


East Asian summer monsoon Indian Ocean Interdecadal shift ENSO 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Division of Earth Environmental SystemPusan National UniversityBusanKorea

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