Climatic oscillations in aerosol optical depth over tropical oceanic regions pertaining to genesis of the Indian Ocean Dipole
Data on aerosol optical depth (AOD) derived from the ocean colour sensor of the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) from September 1997 to December 2010 over the western tropical Indian Ocean (WTIO) (10° S to 10° N; 50° E to 70° E) and southeastern tropical Indian Ocean (SETIO) (10° S to equator; 90° E to 110° E) were analysed with a view to understanding its response to climatic oscillations in regard to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). This study demonstrates the existence of a bimodal distribution pattern of AOD in the atmosphere over both WTIO and SETIO, with the highest values being around 1.1 during the period of primary maximum during August over the WTIO and during October over the SETIO. A secondary maximum (∼0.9) appeared during March over both areas. In addition, the existence of a see-saw oscillation in the distribution of AOD between the atmospheric columns over the study regions was revealed, with higher values during August–December over the SETIO. AOD data over the SETIO captured very well the influence of these atmospheric modes, whereas the influence was not as significant over the WTIO. Stronger El Niño (Niño index > 0.80) events produced a significantly positive (more than +0.03) anomaly in AOD values over the SETIO during October, whereas the lone mode of IOD events and La Niña were not sufficient to induce any significant change in the aerosol distribution over the area. The mode of El Niño co-occurring with a positive IOD (PIOD) strengthens this anomalous behaviour. A significantly negative anomaly (≤0.03) in AOD was observed with concurrent La Niña (Niño index < −1.1) and negative IOD (NIOD) (dipole mode index ≤ 1.1) events. The Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model and National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) winds were utilized to verify these observations.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory,Ministry of Defence, Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Kochi,682021, India
Publication date: January 10, 2013