Australia Drought, The Indian Ocean Dipole & Sudden Stratospheric Warming


By Paul Homewood

One factor that seems to have received no attention at all in the media’s reporting of the Australian fires is the role of the Indian Ocean Dipole, or IOD.

The IOD is, in very simplistic terms, a similar phenomenon to ENSO. When it is in positive mode, the Indian Ocean is warmer than normal to the west, and cooler in the east.

This effect is driven by easterly winds, as we also see during La Ninas. In both cases, these winds drive the warm surface waters to the west, allowing cold, upwelling water to replace it.

This is how the Australian BOM describe it:

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