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Decadal trends of the upper ocean salinity in the tropical Indo-Pacific since mid-1990s
Du, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Feng, M.; Wang, T.; Zhang, N.; Wijffels, S.E. (2015). Decadal trends of the upper ocean salinity in the tropical Indo-Pacific since mid-1990s. NPG Scientific Reports 5(16050): 9 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Du, Y.
  • Zhang, Y.
  • Feng, M.
  • Wang, T.
  • Zhang, N.
  • Wijffels, S.E.

    A contrasting trend pattern of sea surface salinity (SSS) between the western tropical Pacific (WTP) and the southeastern tropical Indian Ocean (SETIO) is observed during 2004–2013, with significant salinity increase in the WTP and freshening in the SETIO. In this study, we show that increased precipitation around the Maritime Continent (MC), decreased precipitation in the western-central tropical Pacific, and ocean advection processes contribute to the salinity trends in the region. From a longer historical record, these salinity trends started in the mid-1990s, a few years before the Global Warming Hiatus from 1998 to present. The salinity trends are associated a strengthening trend of the Walker Circulation over the tropical Indo-Pacific, which have reversed the long-term salinity changes in the tropical Indo-Pacific as a consequence of global warming. Understanding decadal variations of SSS in the tropical Indo-Pacific will better inform on how the tropical hydrological cycle will be affected by the natural variability and a warming climate.

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