Using the Earth Simulator supercomputer based at the Japan Agency for Marine -Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Professor Toshio Yamagata, Dean of University of Tokyo Graduate School of Science (and head of the JAMSTEC Application laboratory) has announced his predictions for the climate in 2012.
According to Professor Yamagata, the recently discovered Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and the better-known El Nino / La Nina effect in the Pacific will continue to play a major part in controlling the weather this year.
The IOD describes a pair of zones (the ocean regions off the East African coast and between Australia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka) as alternately being warmer or cooler alternately - when one is warmer than average, the other is cooler. Whichever zone is warmer receives increased rainfall - hence the recent East African high rainfall. In addition, during the same situation, increased rainfall is seen in sub-Saharan Africa and northern India, while Australia (particularly Western Australia) is drier.
Alternately, when the Australia / Sri Lanka zone is warmer, much of South East Asia, Australia and also the Japan / China coastal region experience increased rain. This effect is, of course, modified by the influences of El Nino / La Nina.
The team's major predictions for 2012 are as follows.