Detecting Change in the Indonesian Seas
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Detecting Change in the Indonesian Seas
  • Published Date:

    2019

  • Source:
    Frontiers in Marine Science, 6(257)
Filetype[PDF-7.75 MB]


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Detecting Change in the Indonesian Seas
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  • Description:
    The Indonesian seas play a fundamental role in the coupled ocean and climate system with the Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) providing the only tropical pathway connecting the global oceans. Pacific warm pool waters passing through the Indonesian seas are cooled and freshened by strong air-sea fluxes and mixing from internal tides to form a unique water mass that can be tracked across the Indian Ocean basin and beyond. The Indonesian seas lie at the climatological center of the atmospheric deep convection associated with the ascending branch of the Walker Circulation. Regional SST variations cause changes in the surface winds that can shift the center of atmospheric deep convection, subsequently altering the precipitation and ocean circulation patterns within the entire Indo-Pacific region. Recent multi-decadal changes in the wind and buoyancy forcing over the tropical Indo-Pacific have directly affected the vertical profile, strength, and the heat and freshwater transports of the ITF. These changes influence the large-scale sea level, SST, precipitation and wind patterns. Observing long-term changes in mass, heat and freshwater within the Indonesian seas is central to understanding the variability and predictability of the global coupled climate system. Although substantial progress has been made over the past decade in measuring and modeling the physical and biogeochemical variability within the Indonesian seas, large uncertainties remain. A comprehensive strategy is needed for measuring the temporal and spatial scales of variability that govern the various water mass transport streams of the ITF, its connection with the circulation and heat and freshwater inventories and associated air-sea fluxes of the regional and global oceans. This white paper puts forward the design of an observational array using multi-platforms combined with high-resolution models aimed at increasing our quantitative understanding of water mass transformation rates and advection within the Indonesian seas and their impacts on the air-sea climate system.
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