Sea Surface Temperature Coupling to Madden-Julian Oscillations over the Indonesian Maritime Continent
Abstract:The intraseasonal SST characteristics within the Indonesian Seas and their responses to the Madden-Julian Oscillations [MJO] are examined through analyses of observed and reanalysis datasets. Intraseasonal variation accounts for about 30% of SST variability, with the strongest signature is observed in Banda and Timor seas. The MJO signature in SST is evident in the form of energy peak at 35-45 days, amplification during the Northwest Monsoon (boreal winter), and eastward propagation. SST responds to sea-air heat flux associated with MJO with net heat flux into the ocean (atmosphere) characterizing the suppressed (active) phase of MJO.
The influence of MJO on Banda Sea SST is greatest during La Niña periods, which are favorable for deeper thermocline conditions, which diminish the role of ocean processes driving vertical heat transfer between subsurface and surface layers. Diminished influence of ocean processes results in dominance of surface heat fluxes associated with MJO in governing intraseasonal SST variability. During El Niño, the role of ocean processes is favorable to mediate heat transfer between lower and upper layer of the ocean surface as thermocline is shallower. The ocean component heat fluxes then compete with MJO forced heat fluxes in governing SST variability as indicated by less pronounced eastward propagation.