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Abstract

The Indonesian Throughflow (ITF) transfers c. 15 Sv (1 Sv=106 m3s−1) of relatively cool, fresh water from the tropical Pacific Ocean to the tropical Indian Ocean. Additionally, the ITF is a key interocean component of the global ocean warm water route, which returns water from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean to close the loop of the thermohaline overturning circulation associated with North Atlantic Deep Water. That flow consequently freshens the Indian Ocean and transports heat between basins. The ITF can also be described by the island rule, which relates the winds over the entire South Pacific Ocean to the magnitude of the ITF. El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) dominates the regional variability in the Pacific Ocean and exerts a strong control over the variability of ITF transport. The Indian Ocean responds to the ENSO signal as well, but is also influenced by the Indian Ocean Dipole, a climate phenomenon that may act independently of ENSO to affect the ITF.

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