Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 58, Issue 8, pp 1387–1396 | Cite as

Connection of sea level variability between the tropical western Pacific and the southern Indian Ocean during recent two decades

Research Paper

Abstract

Based on the merged satellite altimeter data and in-situ observations, as well as a diagnosis of linear baroclinic Rossby wave solutions, this study analyzed the rapidly rise of sea level/sea surface height (SSH) in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans during recent two decades. Results show that the sea level rise signals in the tropical west Pacific and the southeast Indian Ocean are closely linked to each other through the pathways of oceanic waveguide within the Indonesian Seas in the form of thermocline adjustment. The sea level changes in the southeast Indian Ocean are strongly influenced by the low-frequency westward-propagating waves originated in the tropical Pacific, whereas those in the southwest Indian Ocean respond mainly to the local wind forcing. Analyses of the lead-lag correlation further reveal the different origins of interannual and interdecadal variabilities in the tropical Pacific. The interannual wave signals are dominated by the wind variability along the equatorial Pacific, which is associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation; whereas the interdecadal signals are driven mainly by the wind curl off the equatorial Pacific, which is closely related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

Keywords

sea level/sea surface height waveguide pathway tropical Pacific south Indian Ocean interannual and interdecadal variabilities 

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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Scripps Institution of OceanographyLa JollaUSA

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