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  • Springer Nature  (1)
  • World Scientific Publishing Company  (1)
  • 1
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    World Scientific Publishing Company
    In:  In: Indo-Pacific Climate Variability and Predictability. , ed. by Behera, S. K. and Yamagata, T. World Scientific Series on Asia-Pacific Weather and Climate, 7 . World Scientific Publishing Company, Singapore, pp. 109-134. ISBN 978-981-4696-61-6
    Publication Date: 2015-12-11
    Description: This article reviews the energy cycle of the global ocean circulation, focusing on the role of baroclinic mesoscale eddies. Two of the important effects of mesoscale eddies are: (i) the flattening of the slope of large-scale isopycnal surfaces by the eddy-induced overturning circulation, the basis for the Gent–McWilliams parametrization; and (ii) the vertical redistribution of the momentum of basic geostrophic currents by the eddy-induced form stress (the residual effect of pressure perturbations), the basis for the Greatbatch–Lamb parametrization. While only point (i) can be explained using the classical Lorenz energy diagram, both (i) and (ii) can be explained using the modified energy diagram of Bleck as in the following energy cycle. Wind forcing provides an input to the mean KE, which is then transferred to the available potential energy (APE) of the large-scale field by the wind-induced Ekman flow. Subsequently, the APE is extracted by the eddy-induced overturning circulation to feed the mean KE, indicating the enhancement of the vertical shear of the basic current. Meanwhile, the vertical shear of the basic current is relaxed by the eddy-induced form stress, taking the mean KE to endow the eddy field with an energy cascade. The above energy cycle is useful for understanding the dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. On the other hand, while the source of the eddy field energy has become clearer, identifying the sink and flux of the eddy field energy in both physical and spectral space remains major challenges of present-day oceanography. A recent study using a combination of models, satellite altimetry, and climatological hydrographic data shows that the western boundary acts as a “graveyard” for the westward-propagating eddies.
    Type: Book chapter , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Description: Current climate models systematically underestimate the strength of oceanic fronts associated with strong western boundary currents, such as the Kuroshio and Gulf Stream Extensions, and have difficulty simulating their positions at the mid-latitude ocean’s western boundaries1. Even with an enhanced grid resolution to resolve ocean mesoscale eddies—energetic circulations with horizontal scales of about a hundred kilometres that strongly interact with the fronts and currents—the bias problem can still persist2; to improve climate models we need a better understanding of the dynamics governing these oceanic frontal regimes. Yet prevailing theories about the western boundary fronts are based on ocean internal dynamics without taking into consideration the intense air–sea feedbacks in these oceanic frontal regions. Here, by focusing on the Kuroshio Extension Jet east of Japan as the direct continuation of the Kuroshio, we show that feedback between ocean mesoscale eddies and the atmosphere (OME-A) is fundamental to the dynamics and control of these energetic currents. Suppressing OME-A feedback in eddy-resolving coupled climate model simulations results in a 20–40 per cent weakening in the Kuroshio Extension Jet. This is because OME-A feedback dominates eddy potential energy destruction, which dissipates more than 70 per cent of the eddy potential energy extracted from the Kuroshio Extension Jet. The absence of OME-A feedback inevitably leads to a reduction in eddy potential energy production in order to balance the energy budget, which results in a weakened mean current. The finding has important implications for improving climate models’ representation of major oceanic fronts, which are essential components in the simulation and prediction of extratropical storms and other extreme events3, 4, 5, 6, as well as in the projection of the effect on these events of climate change.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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