Physical Climatology of Indonesian Maritime Continent: An Overview of Observational Studies
Monday, 15 December 2014: 4:00 PM
The Indonesian maritime continent (IMC) is a miniature of our land-sea coexisting planet Earth. Firstly, without interior activity, the Earth becomes an even-surfaced “aqua-planet” with both atmosphere and ocean flowing almost zonally, and solar differential heating generates (global thermal tides and) Hadley’s meridional circulations with ITCZ along the equator as observed actually over open (Indian and Pacific) oceans in the both sides of IMC. ITCZ involves intraseasonal variations or super cloud clusters moving eastward. Secondly, the lands and seas over the actual Earth have been keeping the area ratio of 3:7 (similar to that of islands and inland/surrounding seas in IMC), but their displacements have produced IMC near the equator, which turns equatorial Pacific easterly current northward (Kuroshio) and reflects equatorial oceanic waves inducing coupled ocean-atmosphere interannual variations such as ENSO and IOD, or displacements of Walker’s zonal circulations. Thirdly, because IMC consists of many large/small islands with very long coastlines, many narrow straits become a dam for the global (Pacific to Indian) ocean circulation, and the land-sea heat capacity contrasts along the coastlines generate the world’s largest rainfall with diurnal cycles (sea-land breeze circulations). The diurnal cycles are dominant in the rainy season (austral summer in Jawa and Bali), because rainfall-induced sprinkler-like land cooling reverses the trans-coastal temperature gradient before sunrise, and subsequent clear sky on land until around noon provides solar heating dependent on season. These processes lead to rapid land/hydrosphere-atmosphere water exchange, local air pollutant washout, and transequatorial boreal winter monsoon (cold surge). In El Niño years the cooler sea-surface temperature suppresses the morning coastal-sea rainfall, and induces often serious smog over IMC. Lastly, high-resolution observations/models covering both over islands and seas are necessary. A radar-profiler network (HARIMAU) has been constructed during FY2005-09, and capacity building on radar operations and buoy manufacturing has been promoted during FY2009-13 by Japan-Indonesia collaboration projects, which are taken over by an Indonesian national center (MCCOE) established in November 2013.