2022 journal article
ENSO Explains the Link Between Indian Ocean Dipole and Meridional Ocean Heat Transport
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 49(2).
Abstract Indian Ocean meridional heat transport (MHT IO ) drives climate and ecosystem impacts, through changes to ocean temperature. Improved understanding of natural variability in tropical and subtropical MHT IO is needed to contextualize observations and future projections. Previous studies suggest that El Niño‐Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) can drive variability in MHT IO . However, it is unclear whether internally generated IOD can drive variability in MHT IO , or if the apparent relationship between IOD and MHT IO arises because both are modulated by ENSO. Here, we use a model experiment which dynamically removes ENSO to determine the role of internally forced IOD on MHT IO . We find that IOD is not linked to anomalies in MHT IO . Nevertheless, internal atmospheric variability drives significant MHT IO variability. There is little evidence for decadal or multidecadal variability in MHT IO , suggesting this may be a region where an anthropogenic trend rises above the level of internal variability sooner.