Understanding feedback mechanisms of the Indo-Pacific Ocean climate system



[1] Indo-Pacific Climate Variability and Change Workshop; Cairns, Queensland, Australia, 7–8 April 2011; The latest in the Australian GREENHOUSE conference series, GREENHOUSE 2011, provided scientists and representatives from industry and all levels of government the opportunity to hear about the latest in climate change science from leading researchers from Australia and around the world. This year's conference included a workshop on Indo-Pacific climate variability and change that focused on interactions between the two ocean basins, their teleconnections, and how these might change in the future. There were 16 presentations by participants, which are now available at http://www.greenhouse2011.com/page.aspx?docid=11. Several talks at the workshop identified feedback mechanisms that control the development and structure of climate modes, using both observations and Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3 (CMIP3) results for the twentieth and 21st centuries. For example, skewness in the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) was associated with nonlinear temperature advection, sea surface temperature (SST)-cloud-radiation feedback, and feedbacks among the thermocline, SST, and wind. Observations indicated that the frequency of the IOD has increased since 1950. However, there were varying interpretations on the relative strengths of the feedbacks, how they will change in the future, and whether the increased frequency of the IOD is induced by natural variation or human activity.