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Linking Upper Ocean Dynamics with Extreme Weather and Climate Events over the Ocean

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Ocean Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2023) | Viewed by 17081

Special Issue Editors

Assistant Research Scientist, Cooperation Institute for Satellite Earth System Studies, University of Maryland, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), E/NE41, SSMC3, 4th Floor, Rm 4711, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA
Interests: remote sensing in IR and microwave channels; SST and sea surface wind retrieval algorithms for climate data production; radiative transfer modeling for land and ocean retrievals; cal/val/QC of radiation measurements; microwave propagation in navigation and meteorological applications
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Guest Editor
Northern Gulf Institute and Department of Geosciences, Mississippi State University, National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
Interests: turbulence and mixing; bio-physical interactions; oceanic responses to hurricanes; dissolved oxygen content; sea turtle stranding and mortality; autonomous vehicles observations and large sets of data QA/QC; processing; analyzing; interpretation and management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Extreme weather and climate events over the global ocean, such as tropical cyclones, extratropical storms, and high wind events, have a major impact at the air–sea interface, leading to changes in oceanic conditions. Additionally, the formation of these extreme oceanic events are influenced through energy transfer from the upper ocean to the atmosphere. Geophysical parameters such as sea surface temperature, sea surface heights, and salinity can affect the available ocean heat content, mixed layer depth, and stratification of the topmost layer of ocean, leading to storm intensification or weakening. Warmer ocean temperatures and higher sea levels associated with a warming climate are expected to both increase the intensity and impacts of storms, respectively. New methodological and technological developments have facilitated using both remote sensing and in situ observations to understand these extreme events and what influences them across different temporal and spatial scales for multiple disciplines. This Special Issue aims to publish research addressing the current state of understanding the ocean's role in the occurrence of these extreme events, improving model capabilities of simulating and predicting these extremes, and assessing their socioeconomic impacts in terms of the blue economy which encompasses ocean-based industries, natural assets, and ecosystem services. Studies that cross disciplinary boundaries and use novel approaches to improve process understanding are especially welcome.

For this purpose, authors are invited to submit contributions on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Factors affecting extreme events over ocean
  • Geophysical drivers of extreme events on multiple time scales
  • Oceanic responses to extreme events
  • The relationship between ocean conditions and extreme event formation.

Dr. Korak Saha
Dr. Zhankun Wang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • in situ observations
  • remote sensing observations
  • air–sea interactions
  • ocean
  • atmosphere
  • tropical cyclones
  • extratropical cyclones
  • heat content
  • blue economy
  • climate change

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

28 pages, 14321 KiB  
Article
Oceanic Responses to the Winter Storm Outbreak of February 2021 in the Gulf of Mexico from In Situ and Satellite Observations
by Zhankun Wang, Korak Saha, Ebenezer S. Nyadjro, Yongsheng Zhang, Boyin Huang and James Reagan
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(12), 2967; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15122967 - 07 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1346
Abstract
Winter storms occur in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) every few years, but there are not many studies on oceanic responses to severe winter storms. Although usually considered less destructive than hurricanes, they can result in cumulative damages. Winter Storm Outbreak of February [...] Read more.
Winter storms occur in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) every few years, but there are not many studies on oceanic responses to severe winter storms. Although usually considered less destructive than hurricanes, they can result in cumulative damages. Winter Storm Outbreak of February 2021 (WSO21), the most intense winter storm to impact Texas and the GoM in 30 years, passed over the western GoM and brought severe cold to the GoM coastal regions, which caused a sudden cooling of the ocean surface, resulting in an extensive loss of marine life. In this study, we analyze multiple datasets from both in situ and satellite observations to examine the oceanic changes due to WSO21 in order to improve our understanding of oceanic responses to winter storms. Although the pre-storm sea surface temperature (SST) was 1–2 °C warmer than normal, severe coastal cold spells caused a significant cooling of the order of −3 °C to −5 °C during WSO21 and a −1 °C average cooling in the mixed layer (ML) over the western GoM. Net surface heat loss played a primary role in the upper ocean cooling during WSO21 and explained more than 50% of the cooling that occurred. Convective mixing due to surface cooling and turbulent mixing induced by enhanced wind speeds significantly increase the surface ML in the western GoM. Apart from rapid changes in SST and heat fluxes due to air-sea interactions, persistent upwelling brings nutrients to the surface and can produce coastal “winter” blooms along the Texas and Mexico coast. Prominent salinity increases along the coastal regions during and after WSO21 were another indicator of wind-induced coastal upwelling. Our study demonstrates the utility of publicly-available datasets for studying the impact of winter storms on the ocean surface. Full article
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17 pages, 8071 KiB  
Article
Remote Seismoacoustic Monitoring of Tropical Cyclones in the Sea of Japan
by Grigory Dolgikh, Stanislav Dolgikh, Vladimir Chupin, Aleksandr Davydov and Aleksandr Mishakov
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(6), 1707; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15061707 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 863
Abstract
In the course of processing and analysing data from a two-coordinate laser strainmeter, obtained during the propagation of the Hagupit typhoon over the Sea of Japan, we researched the possibility of sensing the direction of tropical cyclones/typhoons and also tracking their movements. We [...] Read more.
In the course of processing and analysing data from a two-coordinate laser strainmeter, obtained during the propagation of the Hagupit typhoon over the Sea of Japan, we researched the possibility of sensing the direction of tropical cyclones/typhoons and also tracking their movements. We tackled the set of problems on the basis of further development of the technology for sensing the direction of primary and secondary microseisms’ generation zones, the “voice of the sea” microseisms, and clarifying the connection between their formation zones and movement of tropical cyclones. In our work, we identified the formation zones of primary and secondary microseisms, which were registered by the two-coordinate laser strainmeter. We established that, from the registered microseisms, we could determine the main characteristics of wind waves generated by a typhoon, but we could not identify its location. By processing the two-coordinate laser strainmeter data in the range of the “voice of the sea” microseisms, we established the possibility of sensing the direction of the “voice of the sea” microseisms’ formation zones, which are associated with zones of the highest energy capacity of typhoons, and this allowed us to tracking the direction of the typhoons’ movement. Full article
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26 pages, 55896 KiB  
Article
New Investigation of a Tropical Cyclone: Observational and Turbulence Analysis for the Faraji Hurricane
by Giuseppe Ciardullo, Leonardo Primavera, Fabrizio Ferrucci, Fabio Lepreti and Vincenzo Carbone
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(5), 1383; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15051383 - 28 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1171
Abstract
In the general framework of the atmosphere, the in-depth study of extreme events of complex nature such as tropical cyclones remains an open problem. Nowadays, there are different useful studies aiming to enlarge the current knowledge of these events. Under this perspective, the [...] Read more.
In the general framework of the atmosphere, the in-depth study of extreme events of complex nature such as tropical cyclones remains an open problem. Nowadays, there are different useful studies aiming to enlarge the current knowledge of these events. Under this perspective, the search for mechanisms and geographical areas of formation and dynamics of tropical cyclones at different latitudes needs better constraints on their preliminary results. This work focuses on a diagnostic analysis of a tropical cyclone, with the aim of identifying key points that characterize its evolution, from a dynamic and observational point of view. The study is applied to Hurricane Faraji, the most powerful tropical cyclone of the 2021 Indian Ocean season, classified as fifth-category on the Saffir–Simpson intensity scale. The study develops in three main sections, all related to each other. The starting point is a large set of satellite products from both polar and geostationary platforms. From the data acquired by the polar instruments, an accurate study of the evolution of the hurricane is carried out, focused on the extraction of physical information related to the system (temperature and altitude of the associated cloudy system, temperature gradient, pressure in the different regions) at moderate resolutions. From the data acquired by the geostationary instruments, it is possible to obtain very high temporal resolution pictures of the temperature field of the cyclone, from which a study of the turbulent dynamics is carried out. In particular, to investigate the maximum energy content in the different regions of the cyclone, the Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) technique is used to extract the associated spectra of both the spatial and temporal components, studied separately on three different ranges of scales. Full article
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18 pages, 6337 KiB  
Article
Sea Surface Salinity Anomaly in the Bay of Bengal during the 2010 Extremely Negative IOD Event
by Shuling Chen, Jing Cha, Fuwen Qiu, Chunsheng Jing, Yun Qiu and Jindian Xu
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(24), 6242; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14246242 - 09 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1235
Abstract
Based on Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) data and the Ocean Reanalysis System 5 (ORAS5) dataset, positive salinity anomalies exceeding 2 psu in the northern Bay of Bengal (BoB) and negative salinity anomalies with the peak of the freshening anomalies reaching −2 [...] Read more.
Based on Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) data and the Ocean Reanalysis System 5 (ORAS5) dataset, positive salinity anomalies exceeding 2 psu in the northern Bay of Bengal (BoB) and negative salinity anomalies with the peak of the freshening anomalies reaching −2 psu around Sri Lanka were observed in autumn 2010. Here, an analysis of the anomalous salt budget revealed that anomalous horizontal advection contributed most to the variability in salinity in the BoB. With the development of La Niña and negative Indian Ocean dipole (nIOD) in summer and autumn, the strong summer monsoon current and Wyrtki jet combined with the anomalous basin-scale cyclonic circulation led to more high-salinity water entering the northern BoB. In addition, more freshwater was transported southward along the eastern coast of India by east Indian coastal current (EICC) in autumn, resulting in extremely negative salinity anomalies around Sri Lanka and positive salinity anomalies in the northern BoB. Moreover, the freshwater around Sri Lanka was carried farther into the southeastern Arabian Sea by the west Indian coastal current (WICC) in November, which affected the salinity stratification in winter and then influenced the variation of the Arabian Sea Mini Warm Pool (ASMWP) in the following spring. The ASMWP could affect the Indian summer monsoon (ISM) through its influence on the monsoon onset vortex (MOV) over the southeast Arabian Sea (SEAS). Full article
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17 pages, 4275 KiB  
Article
Upper Ocean Responses to the Tropical Cyclones Ida and Felicia (2021) in the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern North Pacific
by Sebastian Neun, Jan Jacob and Oliver Wurl
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(21), 5520; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14215520 - 02 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1199
Abstract
Tropical cyclones (TCs) are a significant component of ocean–atmosphere interactions and the climate system. These interactions determine both the development and strength of TCs, as well as various biogeochemical processes in the upper oceans, including vertical mixing and primary production. We investigated the [...] Read more.
Tropical cyclones (TCs) are a significant component of ocean–atmosphere interactions and the climate system. These interactions determine both the development and strength of TCs, as well as various biogeochemical processes in the upper oceans, including vertical mixing and primary production. We investigated the impact of the TCs Felicia and Ida that emerged in 2021 in the eastern North Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, respectively, using satellite observations of sea-surface temperature (SST) and surface chlorophyll a (chl-a) concentrations, and vertical profiles of temperature and salinity derived from Argo floats. Observations differed between the two study areas. Cooling of SST associated with TC Ida was observed throughout the Gulf of Mexico (<0.5 °C), except for warming in a region off the Mexican coast east of Ida’s track (by about 0.5 °C). The passing of TC Felicia cooled SST in the eastern region (15°N, 115°W) and a central region (15°N, 125°W) by 0.5 °C and 0.36 °C, respectively. The passing of the TCs caused enhanced vertical mixing of the upper ocean layer in the Gulf of Mexico, with a deepening of the mixed layers from 38 m to 68 m (TC Ida). In contrast, the mixed layer in the eastern North Pacific decreased from 50 m to 20 m. For the eastern North Pacific, mixing could be related to an increase in surface chl-a and thus enhanced phytoplankton biomass was observed for 2 months after the passing of TC Felicia with a chl-a increase of 0.15 mg m−3. In the Gulf of Mexico, however, TC Ida caused the injection of a coastal phytoplankton bloom into the open Gulf, resting for more than a month after the cyclone had passed. Our findings contribute to the understanding of potential SST cooling, destratification, and enhanced primary production due to the passage of TCs in two distinct ocean regions, i.e., the open eastern North Pacific and the semi-enclosed Gulf of Mexico. Full article
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20 pages, 6011 KiB  
Article
Identifying Oceanic Responses with Validated Satellite Observations after the Passage of Typhoons in the Northern South China Sea
by Weifang Jin, Chujin Liang, Xinliang Tian, Junyang Hu, Tao Ding, Beifeng Zhou, Xiaoyan Chen and Yuntao Wang
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(16), 3872; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14163872 - 10 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1494
Abstract
Tropical cyclone-induced upwelling has an important influence on ocean temperature and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentrations, which are modified by the existence of mesoscale eddies. This paper investigates the regional dynamics and associated variability in temperature and Chl-a during the passage of three typhoons (Kammuri, [...] Read more.
Tropical cyclone-induced upwelling has an important influence on ocean temperature and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentrations, which are modified by the existence of mesoscale eddies. This paper investigates the regional dynamics and associated variability in temperature and Chl-a during the passage of three typhoons (Kammuri, Nuri, and Hagupit) with similar tracks in the northern South China Sea (SCS) during 2008 using remote sensing and in situ observations. The measurements of wind and sea surface temperature obtained by a buoy and satellite were found to be similar, and both showed that typhoons have prominent impacts on the ocean’s upper layer. Sea surface cooling is first identified during the passage of each typhoon, particularly on the right side of typhoon tracks. Increased Chl-a concentrations were observed in the surrounding areas after the passage of typhoons Nuri and Hagupit, with large offshore blooms (Chl-a increases of 0.27–0.33 mg m−3) identified along the tracks of Nuri and Hagupit 3 to 4 days after their passage. Such blooms are highly dependent on the cooling associated with typhoon-induced mixing and upwelling. The pre-existing eddies modified the surface variations, and a perfect match was identified between the polarities of the eddies and the ocean surface changes. An anomalously high offshore Chl-a enhancement entrained by a cyclonic eddy occurred along the track of Nuri 4 days after its passage; in this instance, typhoon-induced upwelling was reinforced by the cyclonic eddy. In comparison, typhoon-induced upwelling is inhibited by anticyclonic eddies, resulting in much less prominent changes. The combination of typhoon winds and eddies can modify the productivity of marine phytoplankton, and a comprehensive understanding of typhoon-induced dynamics will aid in understanding ecosystem responses to typhoons. Full article
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19 pages, 11690 KiB  
Article
Multidecade Trends of Sea Surface Temperature, Chlorophyll-a Concentration, and Ocean Eddies in the Gulf of Mexico
by Geng Li, Zhankun Wang and Binbin Wang
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(15), 3754; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14153754 - 05 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2382
Abstract
This study characterizes the spatial patterns of the overall and monthly trends in sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) to investigate the seasonal variations in oceanic climate trends. We also investigate the trends in mesoscale eddies [...] Read more.
This study characterizes the spatial patterns of the overall and monthly trends in sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) to investigate the seasonal variations in oceanic climate trends. We also investigate the trends in mesoscale eddies using three parameters to identify ocean-eddy-related energetic features in their area, strength, and intensity. Multidecadal remote-sensing-based observations of monthly SST, Chl-a, and sea surface height are used to detect trends at both basin and grid scales. Prominent warming trends are found in most regions of the GoM in all months, with the largest trends in the northern GoM. Winter cooling trends are also detected along the Texas and Florida coast. The overall summer warming trend (~0.22 °C/decade) is larger than the winter trend (~0.05 °C/decade), suggesting seasonal variations of increase in SST with warming. Chl-a trends and variations are confined on the continental shelf and slope in the northern GoM. The largest increase trends are found near the Mississippi River Delta. No obvious Chl-a trend is detected in the deepwater of the GoM, consistent with previous studies. Small but significant changes are found in eddy characteristics, indicating the eddy activities might be slowly affected by climate change in the GoM. The detailed monthly trends at per-grid scale are valuable for regional resource management, environmental protection, and policy making in the GoM. Full article
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14 pages, 2028 KiB  
Article
Response of a Mesoscale Dipole Eddy to the Passage of a Tropical Cyclone: A Case Study Using Satellite Observations and Numerical Modeling
by Xiaorong Huang and Guihua Wang
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(12), 2865; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14122865 - 15 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1395
Abstract
Mesoscale eddies occurring in the world’s oceans typically exist in pairs known as mesoscale dipole eddies or simply dipole eddies. Tropical cyclones (hereafter TCs) that move over the world’s oceans often encounter and interact with these dipole eddies. Through this interaction, TCs induce [...] Read more.
Mesoscale eddies occurring in the world’s oceans typically exist in pairs known as mesoscale dipole eddies or simply dipole eddies. Tropical cyclones (hereafter TCs) that move over the world’s oceans often encounter and interact with these dipole eddies. Through this interaction, TCs induce significant perturbations in the mesoscale eddies. However, the specific influences that the passage of a TC on a dipole eddy have not been addressed. In this paper, a case study of the dipole eddy’s response to the passage of a TC is conducted by using satellite observations and numerical simulation. The passage of a TC induces a long-duration response in the dipole eddy. First, the cyclonic ocean eddy component (COE) of the dipole is amplified, and the anticyclonic ocean eddy component (AOE) is weakened or even destroyed during the interaction. The amplification of the COE and weakening of the AOE primarily manifests as a change in their amplitudes and radii and as the adjustment of their vertical structure. The dipole eddy’s response to the interaction with a TC manifests as an upwelling anomaly and the injection of positive relative vorticity. Following the passage of the TC, the COE gradually stabilizes, and AOE slowly recovers after the disturbance energy from the interaction dissipates, which facilitates the reestablishment of the dipole eddy. The dipole reaches an equilibrium state through a quasi-geostrophic adjustment process. As a consequence, the overall effect of the interaction of the dipole with the TC leads to an asymmetric signature on the dipole eddy. The eddy–eddy interaction in a dipole may allow it to stabilize in a shorter time relative to that of a solitary eddy. Full article
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22 pages, 4911 KiB  
Article
Integrating Deep Learning and Hydrodynamic Modeling to Improve the Great Lakes Forecast
by Pengfei Xue, Aditya Wagh, Gangfeng Ma, Yilin Wang, Yongchao Yang, Tao Liu and Chenfu Huang
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(11), 2640; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14112640 - 31 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2488
Abstract
The Laurentian Great Lakes, one of the world’s largest surface freshwater systems, pose a modeling challenge in seasonal forecast and climate projection. While physics-based hydrodynamic modeling is a fundamental approach, improving the forecast accuracy remains critical. In recent years, machine learning (ML) has [...] Read more.
The Laurentian Great Lakes, one of the world’s largest surface freshwater systems, pose a modeling challenge in seasonal forecast and climate projection. While physics-based hydrodynamic modeling is a fundamental approach, improving the forecast accuracy remains critical. In recent years, machine learning (ML) has quickly emerged in geoscience applications, but its application to the Great Lakes hydrodynamic prediction is still in its early stages. This work is the first one to explore a deep learning approach to predicting spatiotemporal distributions of the lake surface temperature (LST) in the Great Lakes. Our study shows that the Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) neural network, trained with the limited data from hypothetical monitoring networks, can provide consistent and robust performance. The LSTM prediction captured the LST spatiotemporal variabilities across the five Great Lakes well, suggesting an effective and efficient way for monitoring network design in assisting the ML-based forecast. Furthermore, we employed an explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) technique named SHapley Additive exPlanations (SHAP) to uncover how the features impact the LSTM prediction. Our XAI analysis shows air temperature is the most influential feature for predicting LST in the trained LSTM. The relatively large bias in the LSTM prediction during the spring and fall was associated with substantial heterogeneity of air temperature during the two seasons. In contrast, the physics-based hydrodynamic model performed better in spring and fall yet exhibited relatively large biases during the summer stratification period. Finally, we developed a statistical integration of the hydrodynamic modeling and deep learning results based on the Best Linear Unbiased Estimator (BLUE). The integration further enhanced prediction accuracy, suggesting its potential for next-generation Great Lakes forecast systems. Full article
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28 pages, 12569 KiB  
Article
Monsoon Effects on Chlorophyll-a, Sea Surface Temperature, and Ekman Dynamics Variability along the Southern Coast of Lesser Sunda Islands and Its Relation to ENSO and IOD Based on Satellite Observations
by Febryanto Simanjuntak and Tang-Huang Lin
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(7), 1682; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14071682 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2191
Abstract
The Asian–Australian Monsoon (AAM), the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) have been known to induce variability in ocean surface characteristics along the southern coast of Lesser Sunda Island (LSI). However, previous studies used low spatial resolution data and [...] Read more.
The Asian–Australian Monsoon (AAM), the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) have been known to induce variability in ocean surface characteristics along the southern coast of Lesser Sunda Island (LSI). However, previous studies used low spatial resolution data and little Ekman dynamics analysis. This study aims to investigate the direct influence of AAM winds on ocean surface conditions and to determine how ENSO and IOD affect the ocean surface and depth with higher spatial resolution data. In addition, the variability in Ekman dynamics is also described along with the inconsistent relationship between wind and sea surface temperature (SST) in four different areas. The results indicate that persistent southeasterly winds are likely to induce low SST and chlorophyll-a blooms. Based on the interannual variability, the positive chlorophyll-a (up to 0.5 mg m−3) and negative SST (reaching −1.5 °C) anomalies observed in the El Nino of 2015 coincide with +IOD, which also corroborates positive wind stress and Ekman Mass Transport (EMT) anomalies. In contrast, the La Nina of 2010 coincides with -IOD, and positive SST and negative chlorophyll-a anomalies (more than 1.5 °C and −0.5 mg m−3 respectively) were observed. Furthermore, we found that southern coast of Java and Bali Island have a different generated mechanism that controls SST variability. Full article
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