Oman coral δ 18 O seawater record suggests that Western Indian Ocean upwelling uncouples from the Indian Ocean Dipole during the global-warming hiatus

Takaaki K. Watanabe, Tsuyoshi Watanabe, Atsuko Yamazaki, Miriam Pfeiffer, Michel R. Claereboudt

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The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is an interannual mode of climate variability in the Indian Ocean that has intensified with 20 th century global-warming. However, instrumental data shows a global-warming hiatus between the late-1990s and 2015. It is presently not clear how the global-warming hiatus affects modes of climate variability such as the IOD, and their basin-wide ocean-atmosphere teleconnections. Here, we present a 26-year long, biweekly record of Sr/Ca and δ 18 O from a Porites coral drilled in the Gulf of Oman. Sea surface temperature (SST anom ) is calculated from Sr/Ca ratios, and seawater δ 18 O (δ 18 O sw-anom ) is estimated by subtracting the temperature component from coral δ 18 O. Our δ 18 O sw-anom record reveals a significant regime shift in 1999, towards lower mean δ 18 O sw values, reflecting intensified upwelling in the western Indian Ocean. Prior to the 1999 regime shift, our SST anom and δ 18 O sw-anom show a clear IOD signature, with higher values in the summer of positive-IOD years due to weakened upwelling. The IOD signature in SST anom and δ 18 O sw-anom disappears with the overall intensification of upwelling after the 1999 regime shift. The inferred increase in upwelling is likely driven by an intensified Walker circulation during the global-warming hiatus. Upwelling in the Western Indian Ocean uncouples from the IOD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1887
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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