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Abstract

An extensive amount of data from the World Ocean Database (WOD) that covers the southern South China Sea (SSCS) were analysed to study the long-term trends and variations of the El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event. The WOD data were selected from 1951 to 2010, which included the area within 0–10 °N and 100–117 °E. El-Nino and La-Nina anomaly results showed that the sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTa) trend of SSCS was higher during offset-El-Nino years and lower during offset-La-Nina years. Besides, the inter-annual vertical water temperature profile revealed that the deepening of the warmer water temperature occurred in February and August of the offset-El-Nino years. Next, analysis of the potential area for coastal upwelling showed that the uplifting of cold water (26 °C) at the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia (ECPM) occurred during the peak southwest monsoon, whereas at the northwest of Sabah waters (NWSW), it occurred during the offset northeast monsoon. El-Nino suppressed the coastal upwelling at the ECPM due to the intense mixing of warm water during the offset-El-Nino years. Meanwhile, El-Nino enhanced the coastal upwelling in the NWSW due to the establishment of a positive wind stress curl anomaly at the northwest Borneo coast.

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