Dramatic impact of the South China Sea on the Indonesian Throughflow

Authors

  • Tomoki Tozuka,

    1. Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
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  • Tangdong Qu,

    1. International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
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  • Toshio Yamagata

    1. Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
    2. Frontier Research Center for Global Change, Independent Administrative Institution, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan
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Abstract

[1] Using OGCM experiments with and without the South China Sea throughflow, it is shown that this throughflow plays an important role in generating the subsurface maxima in the meridional velocity of the Makassar Strait throughflow. The maximum in the southward flow is located at subsurface around 110 m in the control run, whereas that exists near the surface without the South China Sea throughflow. This results in 0.18 PW difference in the southward heat transport by the Makassar Strait throughflow, suggesting that the South China Sea throughflow may play an important role in climate variability of the Indo-Pacific region. Furthermore, the South China Sea throughflow, which undergoes a seasonal variation with a maximum in boreal winter, significantly influences the simulated seasonal variation in the Makassar Strait throughflow.

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