AbstractA more complete wind stress τn formulation takes into account the ocean surface currents Vo, while the conventional wind stress τc popularly used in ocean circulation models is only a function of 10-m winds V10. An analytical solution is derived for the difference of Sverdrup transport induced by using τn instead of τc. A scaling analysis of the analytical solution indicates a 6% reduction of the Sverdrup transport in the North Pacific (i.e., the Kuroshio transport in the East China Sea) when Ekman velocity dominates the ocean surface currents. Because of the quadratic nature of wind stress, four nonlinear terms contribute equally to this difference: two vorticity torque terms and two speed gradient torque terms. A pair of 12.5-yr (July 2002–14) Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model simulations that only differ in the wind stress formulation are used to test the analytical solution. The model results (2004–14) confirm that using τn instead of τc reduces the Sverdrup transport in the North Pacific by 8%–17% between 23° and 32°N. The reduction rate of the simulated 11-yr mean Kuroshio transport through the East Taiwan Channel and Tokara Strait is 8.0% (−2.5 Sv; 1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) and 12.8% (−4.8 Sv), respectively, in good agreement with the Sverdrup transport reduction rate, which is 7.4% (−2.6 Sv) and 15.4% (−6.3 Sv) at the corresponding latitude. The local effect of changing wind stress/wind work and Ekman transport due to the inclusion of Vo in the wind stress formulation is negligible compared to the Kuroshio volume transport change estimated in this study.
Journal of Physical Oceanography – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 1, 2017
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