Decreased Indian Ocean Dipole variability under prolonged greenhouse warming
April 07,2024

Soong-Ki Kim, Hyo-Jin Park, Soon-Il An, Chao Liu, Wenju Cai, Agus Santoso & Jong-Seong Kug
Published in Nature Communications, April 2024

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is a major climate variability mode that substantially influences weather extremes and climate patterns worldwide. However, the response of IOD variability to anthropogenic global warming remains highly uncertain. The latest IPCC Sixth Assessment Report concluded that human influences on IOD variability are not robustly detected in observations and twenty-first century climate-model projections. Here, using millennial-length climate simulations, we disentangle forced response and internal variability in IOD change and show that greenhouse warming robustly suppresses IOD variability. On a century time scale, internal variability overwhelms the forced change in IOD, leading to a widespread response in IOD variability. This masking effect is mainly caused by a remote influence of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation. However, on a millennial time scale, nearly all climate models show a long-term weakening trend in IOD variability by greenhouse warming. Our results provide compelling evidence for a human influence on the IOD.

Kim, SK., Park, HJ., An, SI. et al. Decreased Indian Ocean Dipole variability under prolonged greenhouse warming. Nat Commun 15, 2811 (2024).

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