An Indo-Pacific see-saw wobbles the Earth at intraseasonal timescales

Type Article
Acceptance Date 2020-10 IN PRESS
Language English
Source Preprint (Research Square) In Press
DOI 10.21203/
Keyword(s) Barotropic Response, Madden-Julian Oscillation, Ocean General Circulation Model

Strong large-scale winds can relay their energy to the ocean bottom and elicit an almost immediate intraseasonal barotropic (depth independent) response in the ocean. The intense winds associated with the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), over the tropical interface between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean (popularly known as Maritime Continent) generate significant basin-wide intraseasonal barotropic sea level variability in the tropical Indian Ocean. Here we show, using an ocean general circulation model and a network of in-situ bottom pressure recorders, that the concerted barotropic response of the Indian and the Pacific Ocean to these winds leads to an intraseasonal see-saw of oceanic mass in the Indo-Pacific basin. This global-scale mass shift is unexpectedly fast, as we show that the mass field of the entire Indo-Pacific basin is dynamically adjusted to MJO in a few days. We also explain how this near-global-scale MJO-induced oceanic phenomenon is the first signature from a climate mode that can be isolated into the Earth polar axis motion, in particular during the strong see-saw of early 2013.

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Supplementary Materials- Methods, Figures S1-S4, References (26-52) 4 MB Open access
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