AbstractThe present study employs six surface heat flux datasets and three ocean assimilation products to assess the relative contributions of surface heat fluxes and oceanic processes to the sea surface temperature (SST) change in the tropical oceans. Large differences are identified in the major terms of the heat budget equation. The largest discrepancies among different datasets appear in the contribution of vertical advection. The heat budget is nearly balanced in the shortwave radiation and horizontal advection-dominant cases, but not balanced in some of the latent heat flux and vertical advection-dominant cases. The contributions of surface heat fluxes and ocean advections to the SST tendency display remarkable seasonal and regional dependence. The contribution of surface heat fluxes covers a large geographical area. The oceanic processes dominate the SST tendency in the near-equatorial regions with large values but small spatial scales. In the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, the SST tendency is governed by the dynamic and thermodynamic processes respectively, while a wide variety of processes contributes to the SST tendency in the Indian Ocean. Several regions have been selected to illustrate the dominant contributions of individual terms to the SST tendency in different seasons. The seasonality and regionality of the interannual air-sea relationship indicates a physical connection with the mean state.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 13, 2017
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