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Publication Date
6 November 2021

The Oceanic Barrier Layer in the Eastern Indian Ocean as a Predictor for Rainfall Over Indonesia and Australia



<p>Barrier layers in the tropics trap heat in a shallow and stable near-surface layer and limit entrainment of cooler water from below. Both processes act to increase sea surface temperature and enhance atmospheric convection. The high resolution fully coupled pre-industrial Energy Exascale Earth System Model version 0 (E3SMv0) is used to investigate the relationship between barrier layers in the eastern Indian Ocean during the wet season with local atmospheric convection and remote rainfall. A partial least squares regression reveals a significant relationship between Australasian rainfall and the barrier layer thickness (BLT) west of Sumatra, occurring one month earlier. The largest positive regression coefficients are over northern Australia. The region west of Sumatra is strategically located where the East-Asian monsoon moisture flows toward northern Australia. Thickening of the west Sumatra BLT intensifies evaporation and local convection and amplifies the moisture transported to Australia acting to increase the terrestrial rainfall.</p>

Ivanova, Detelina P., Julie McClean, Janet Sprintall, and Ru Chen. 2021. “The Oceanic Barrier Layer In The Eastern Indian Ocean As A Predictor For Rainfall Over Indonesia And Australia”. Geophysical Research Letters 48. doi:10.1029/2021GL094519.
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