Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 92, Issue 1–2, pp 31–45 | Cite as

Temperature variability over the Indian Ocean and its relationship with Indian summer monsoon rainfall

  • D. R. Kothawale
  • A. A. Munot
  • H. P. Borgaonkar


The present study examines the long term trend in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Equatorial South India Ocean in the context of global warming for the period 1901–2002 and for a subset period 1971–2002. An attempt has also been made to identify the relationship between SST variations over three different ocean areas, and All-India and homogeneous region summer monsoon rainfall variability, including the role of El-Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Annual sea surface temperatures of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Equatorial South India Ocean show a significant warming trend of 0.7 °C, 0.6 °C and 0.5 °C per hundred years, respectively, and a relatively accelerated warming of 0.16 °C, 0.14 °C and 0.14 °C per decade during the 1971–2002 period.

There is a positive and statistically significant relationship between SSTs over the Arabian Sea from the preceding November to the current February, and Indian monsoon rainfall during the period 1901–2002. The correlation coefficient increases from October and peaks in December, decreasing from February to September. This significant relationship is also found in the recent period 1971–2002, whereas, during 1901–70, the relationship is not significant. On the seasonal scale, Arabian Sea winter SSTs are positively and significantly correlated with Indian monsoon rainfall, while spring SSTs have no significant positive relationship. Nino3 spring SSTs have a negative significant relationship with Indian monsoon rainfall and it is postulated that there is a combined effect of Nino3 and Arabian Sea SSTs on Indian monsoon. If the Nino3 SST effect is removed, the spring SSTs over the Arabian Sea also have a significant relationship with monsoon rainfall. Similarly, the Bay of Bengal and Equatorial South Indian Ocean spring SSTs are significantly and positively correlated with Indian monsoon rainfall after removing the Nino3 effect, and correlation values are more pronounced than for the Arabian Sea.


Indian Ocean Monsoon Rainfall Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall Summer Monsoon Rainfall Indian Monsoon Rainfall 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. R. Kothawale
    • 1
  • A. A. Munot
    • 1
  • H. P. Borgaonkar
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Institute of Tropical MeteorologyPuneIndia

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