Speaker: Stephen Bourguet
Stephen will lead a discussion on the paper titled "Indian Ocean Warming Trend Reduces Pacific WarmingResponse to Anthropogenic Greenhouse Gases: An Interbasin Thermostat Mechanism"
Abstract: A greater warming trend of sea surface temperature in the tropical Indian Ocean than in the tropical Pacific is a robust feature found in various observational data sets. Yet this interbasin warming contrast is not present in climate models. Here we investigate the impact of tropical Indian Ocean warming on the tropical Pacific response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas warming by analyzing results from coupled model pacemaker experiments. We find that warming in the Indian Ocean induces local negative sea level pressure anomalies, which extend to the western tropical Pacific, strengthening the zonal sea level pressure gradient and easterly trades in the tropical Pacific. The enhanced trade winds reduce sea surface temperature in the eastern tropical Pacific by increasing equatorial upwelling and evaporative cooling, which offset the greenhouse gas warming. This result suggests an interbasin thermostat mechanism, through which the Indian Ocean exerts its influence on the Pacific response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas warming.