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Dominant Modes of Upper Ocean Heat Content in the North Indian Ocean

Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32310, USA
Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune 411008, India
CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Goa403004, India
National Remote Sensing Center, Hyderabad 500037, India
Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32310, USA
Space Applications Center, Ahmedabad 380015, India
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2018, 6(3), 71;
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
PDF [2820 KB, uploaded 3 September 2018]


The thermal energy needed for the development of hurricanes and monsoons as well as any prolonged marine weather event comes from layers in the upper oceans, not just from the thin layer represented by sea surface temperature alone. Ocean layers have different modes of thermal energy variability because of the different time scales of ocean–atmosphere interaction. Although many previous studies have focused on the influence of upper ocean heat content (OHC) on tropical cyclones and monsoons, no study thus far—particularly in the North Indian Ocean (NIO)—has specifically concluded the types of dominant modes in different layers of the ocean. In this study, we examined the dominant modes of variability of OHC of seven layers in the NIO during 1998–2014. We conclude that the thermal variability in the top 50 m of the ocean had statistically significant semiannual and annual modes of variability, while the deeper layers had the annual mode alone. Time series of OHC for the top four layers were analyzed separately for the NIO, Arabian Sea, and Bay of Bengal. For the surface to 50 m layer, the lowest and the highest values of OHC were present in January and May every year, respectively, which was mainly caused by the solar radiation cycle. View Full-Text
Keywords: ocean heat content; tropical cyclone heat potential; dominant modes; North Indian Ocean ocean heat content; tropical cyclone heat potential; dominant modes; North Indian Ocean

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ali, M.M.; Singh, N.; Kumar, M.S.; Zheng, Y.; Bourassa, M.; Kishtawal, C.M.; Rao, C.V. Dominant Modes of Upper Ocean Heat Content in the North Indian Ocean. Climate 2018, 6, 71.

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