EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Projected future changes of meridional heat transport and heat balance of the Indian Ocean

Jie Ma1,2,4, Ming Feng2,3, Jian Lan5,6, and Dunxin Hu1,4,5
Jie Ma et al.
  • 1Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Key Laboratory of Ocean Circulation and Waves, Qingdao, China (
  • 2CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia
  • 3Centre for Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research, Hobart, Australia
  • 4Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
  • 5Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, China
  • 6Physical Oceanography Laboratory, Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China

An ocean downscaling model product, forced under the RCP8.5 future climate change scenario, has been used to understand the ocean heat balance of the Indian Ocean in a warming climate. Towards the end of the 21th century, the model simulates a significant reduction of Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) transport, which reduces the Pacific to Indian Ocean heat transport by 0.20 PW; whereas across S in the southern Indian Ocean (SIO), the southward heat transport is reduced by 0.28 PW, mainly contributed from the weakening western boundary current, the Agulhas Current (0.21 PW). The projected weakening of the Agulhas Current is to compensate for the reduction of the ITF transport, with additional contribution from the spin-down of the SIO subtropical gyre. Thus, being amplified by the ocean circulation changes in the SIO, the projected Indian Ocean warming trend is much faster than the direct air-sea heat flux input.

How to cite: Ma, J., Feng, M., Lan, J., and Hu, D.: Projected future changes of meridional heat transport and heat balance of the Indian Ocean , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11975,, 2020.