Interannual variability of sea surface temperatures in the Southwest Pacific and the role of ocean dynamics

Interannual variability of sea surface temperatures in the Southwest Pacific and the role of... AbstractWe investigate the mechanisms causing interannual variability of upper ocean heat content and sea surface temperature (SST) in the Southwest Pacific. Using the ECCOv4 ocean reanalysis we show that air-sea heat flux and ocean heat transport convergence due to ocean dynamics both contribute to the variability of upper ocean temperatures around New Zealand. We investigate the ocean dynamics responsible for the ocean heat transport convergence. We show SSTs are significantly correlated with the arrival of barotropic Rossby waves estimated from the South Pacific wind stress over the latitudes of New Zealand. Both Argo observations and the ECCOv4 reanalysis show deep isotherms fluctuate coherently around the country. We suggest the depth of the thermocline around New Zealand adjusts to changes in the South Pacific winds, modifies the vertical advection of heat into the upper ocean, and contributes to the interannual variability of SST in the region. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Climate American Meteorological Society

Interannual variability of sea surface temperatures in the Southwest Pacific and the role of ocean dynamics

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0442
D.O.I.
10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0852.1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractWe investigate the mechanisms causing interannual variability of upper ocean heat content and sea surface temperature (SST) in the Southwest Pacific. Using the ECCOv4 ocean reanalysis we show that air-sea heat flux and ocean heat transport convergence due to ocean dynamics both contribute to the variability of upper ocean temperatures around New Zealand. We investigate the ocean dynamics responsible for the ocean heat transport convergence. We show SSTs are significantly correlated with the arrival of barotropic Rossby waves estimated from the South Pacific wind stress over the latitudes of New Zealand. Both Argo observations and the ECCOv4 reanalysis show deep isotherms fluctuate coherently around the country. We suggest the depth of the thermocline around New Zealand adjusts to changes in the South Pacific winds, modifies the vertical advection of heat into the upper ocean, and contributes to the interannual variability of SST in the region.

Journal

Journal of ClimateAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Jun 26, 2017

References

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