South China Sea Throughflow Impact on the Indonesian Throughflow
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS DETACHMENT STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS OCEANOGRAPHY DIV
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In 2008-2009 the Makassar throughflow profile changed dramatically the characteristic thermocline velocity maximum increased from 0.7 to 0.9 msec and shifted from 140 m to 70 m, amounting to a 47 increase in the transport of warmer water between 50 and 150 m during the boreal summer. HYCOM output indicates that ENSO induced change of the South China Sea SCS throughflow into the Indonesian seas is the likely cause. Increased SCS throughflow during El Nino with a commensurate increase in the southward flow of buoyant surface water through the Sulu Sea into the northern Makassar Strait, inhibits tropical Pacific surface water injection into Makassar Strait during La Nina SCS throughflow is near zero allowing tropical Pacific inflow. The resulting warmer ITF reaches into the Indian Ocean, potentially affecting regional sea surface temperature and climate.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography