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  • AMS (American Meteorological Society)  (2)
  • 2015-2019  (2)
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  • 2015-2019  (2)
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  • 1
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    AMS (American Meteorological Society)
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 49 (8). pp. 2075-2094.
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: Oceanic eddies are an important component in preconditioning the central Labrador Sea (LS) for deep convection and in restratifying the convected water. This study investigates the different sources and impacts of Eddy Kinetic Energy (EKE) and its temporal variability in the LS with the help of a 52-year long hindcast simulation of a 1/20° ocean model. Irminger Rings (IR) are generated in the West Greenland Current (WGC) between 60 and 62°N, mainly affect preconditioning and limit the northward extent of the convection area. The IR exhibit a seasonal cycle and decadal variations linked to the WGC strength, varying with the circulation of the subpolar gyre. The mean and temporal variations of IR generation can be attributed to changes in deep ocean baroclinic and upper ocean barotropic instabilities at comparable magnitudes. The main source of EKE and restratification in the central LS are Convective Eddies (CE). They are generated by baroclinic instabilities near the bottom of the mixed layer during and after convection. The CE have a mid-depth core and reflect the hydrographic properties of the convected water mass with a distinct minimum in potential vorticity. Their seasonal to decadal variability is tightly connected to the local atmospheric forcing and the associated air-sea heat fluxes. A third class of eddies in the LS are the Boundary Current Eddies shed from the Labrador Current (LC). Since they are mostly confined to the vicinity of the LC, these eddies appear to exert only minor influence on preconditioning and restratification.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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  • 2
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    AMS (American Meteorological Society)
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 48 (4). pp. 757-771.
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: The Eddy Kinetic Energy (EKE) associated with the Subtropical Countercurrent (STCC) in the western subtropical South Pacific is known to exhibit substantial seasonal and decadal variability. Using an eddy-permitting ocean general circulation model, which is able to reproduce the observed, salient features of the seasonal cycles of shear, stratification, baroclinic production and the associated EKE, we investigate the decadal changes of EKE. We show that the STCC region exhibits, uniquely among the subtropical gyres of the world’s oceans, significant, atmospherically forced, decadal EKE variability. The decadal variations are driven by changing vertical shear between the STCC in the upper 300 m and the South Equatorial Current below, predominantly caused by variations in STCC strength associated with a changing meridional density gradient. In the 1970s, an increased meridional density gradient results in EKE twice as large as in later decades in the model. Utilizing sensitivity experiments, decadal variations in the wind field are shown to be the essential driver. Local wind stress curl anomalies associated with the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) lead to up- and downwelling of the thermocline, inducing strengthening or weakening of the STCC and the associated EKE. Additionally, remote wind stress curl anomalies in the eastern subtropical South Pacific, which are not related to the IPO, generate density anomalies that propagate westward as Rossby waves and can account for up to 30–40 % of the density anomalies in the investigated region.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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