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Variability, interaction and change in the atmosphere-ocean-ecology system of the Western Indian Ocean

Spencer, T.; Laughton, A.S.; Flemming, N.C.. 2005 Variability, interaction and change in the atmosphere-ocean-ecology system of the Western Indian Ocean. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A, 363 (1826). 3-13. 10.1098/rsta.2004.1495

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Abstract/Summary

Traditional ideas of intraseasonal and interannual climatic variability in the Western Indian Ocean, dominated by the mean cycle of seasonally reversing monsoon winds, are being replaced by a more complex picture, comprising air-sea interactions and feedbacks; atmosphere-ocean dynamics operating over intrannual to interdecadal time-scales; and climatological and oceanographic boundary condition changes at centennial to millennial time-scales. These forcings, which are mediated by the orography of East Africa and the Asian continent and by seafloor topography (most notably in this area by the banks and shoals of the Mascarene Plateau which interrupts the westward-flowing South Equatorial Current), determine fluxes of water, nutrients and biogeochemical constituents, the essential controls on ocean and shallow-sea productivity and ecosystem health. Better prediction of climatic variability for rain-fed agriculture, and the development of sustainable marine resource use, is of critical importance to the developing countries of this region but requires further basic information gathering and coordinated ocean observation systems.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1098/rsta.2004.1495
Additional Keywords: climate variability, tropical ocean circulation, ocean-atmosphere interaction, coral growth, Mascarene Plateau
Date made live: 07 Mar 2005 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/114871

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