Science Highlights

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A recent synthesis coordinated by the CLIVAR Pacific Region Panel, published in Science (Power et al., 2021,, reviews the current understanding of TPDV and provide recommendations to improve our understanding of TPDV and our ability to predict it.

A recent synthesis in Nature Review Earth and Environment led by the CLIVAR community and in particular the CLIVAR Pacific Region Panel (Cai et al., 2021, assesses the potential future changes of multiple aspects of ENSO and the underlying processes behind such changes. 

According to the original projection of CMIP5 models, the extreme El Niño would increase twice in the future. By removing the net impacts from the models’ 13 systematic biases, Prof. Luo and his research team (Tang et al., 2021) found that the extreme El Niño frequency would remain almost unchanged in the future.

Arctic Atlantification was witnessed in the Eurasian sector of the Arctic Ocean recently. It is characterized by significant ocean warming and weakening in upper ocean stratification along with winter sea ice decline. However, the change in atmosphere–ocean–sea ice interaction during the Arctic Atlantification is still an open question. A most recently paper published in Nature Communication gives a possible answer.

In the eastern tropical Indian Ocean, intraseasonal variability (ISV) affects the regional oceanography and marine ecosystems. The ISV has been found to be modulated by the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), but the impact of ENSO is ambiguous. 

The ocean temperatures continued a trend of breaking records in 2020. A new study, authored by 20 scientists from 14 institutes around the world, reported the highest ocean temperatures since 1955 from surface level to a depth of 2,000 m.

In the tropical Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, easterly trade winds prevail and upwelling occurs in the eastern equatorial basin. In contrast, the Indian Ocean is subject to intense seasonally reversing monsoon wind forcing, and the annual mean prevailing winds in the equatorial basin. This provides unique features of interannual variability of the upwelling in the tropical Indian Ocean.

ENSO in the Pacific Ocean has major worldwide social and economic consequences through its global scale effects on atmospheric and oceanic circulation, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and other natural systems. Ongoing climate change is projected to significantly alter ENSO’s dynamics and impacts.

The paper uses an unprecedented ensemble of regional climate model (RCM) projections over seven regional CORDEX domains to provide, for the first time, an RCM based global view of monsoon changes at various levels of increased greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing.

The ‘butterfly effect’ is used by climate scientists to refer to an infinitesimal random perturbation to an identical initial condition (for example, in surface temperatures) causing drastically different trajectories. A recent study published in Nature (Cai et al.

Climate models are core tools for understanding the mechanisms underlying climate change and making long-term and short-term predictions.

A new article was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society that reviews the current knowledge on detection, attribution and projection of global and regional monsoons (South Asian, East Asian, Australian, South American, North American, and African) under climate change. 

The writing team of the decadal Indian Ocean Observing System review has recently published a research article on the BAMS titled A roadmap to IndOOS-2: Better observations of the rapidly-warming Indian ocean, by presenting the core findings from the IndOOS review. 

A new framework for global ocean-sea-ice model simulations based on phase 2 of the Ocean Model Intercomparison Project (OMIP-2), was presented recently by CLIVAR Ocean Model Development Panel (OMDP) and other ocean model communities.

An assessment of the Indian Ocean mean state and seasonal cycle in a suite of interannual CORE-II global ocean–sea-ice model simulations is presented.