AbstractZonally averaged models of the ocean overturning circulation miss important zonal exchanges of waters between the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Oceans. A two-layer, two-basin model that accounts for these exchanges is introduced and suggests that in the present-day climate the overturning circulation is best described as the combination of three circulations: an adiabatic overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean, associated with transformation of intermediate to deep waters in the north, a diabatic overturning circulation in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, associated with transformation of abyssal to deep waters by mixing, and an inter-basin circulation that exchanges waters geostrophically between the two oceans through the Southern Ocean. These results are supported both by theoretical analysis of the two-layer, two-basin model and by numerical simulations in a three dimensional ocean model.
Journal of Physical Oceanography – American Meteorological Society
Published: Oct 20, 2017
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