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  • American Meteorological Society
  • 2015-2019  (4,255)
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  • 1
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 48 (2). pp. 261-281.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Multi-year moored velocity observations of the Angola Current near 11°S reveal a weak southward mean flow superimposed by substantial intraseasonal to seasonal variability, including annual and semiannual cycles with distinct baroclinic structures. In the equatorial Atlantic these oscillations are associated with basin-mode resonances of the fourth and second baroclinic modes, respectively. Here, the role of basin-mode resonance and local forcing for the Angola Current seasonality are investigated. A suite of linear shallow-water models for the tropical Atlantic is employed, each model representing a single baroclinic mode forced at a specific period. The annually and semiannually oscillating forcing is given by 1) an idealized zonally uniform zonal forcing restricted to the equatorial band corresponding to a remote equatorial forcing or 2) realistic, spatially-varying Fourier components of wind stress data that include local forcing off Angola, particularly alongshore winds. Model-computed modal amplitudes are scaled to match moored velocity observations from the equatorial Atlantic. The observed annual cycle of alongshore velocity at 11°S is well reproduced by the remote equatorial forcing. Including local forcing slightly improves the agreement between observed and simulated semiannual oscillations at 11°S compared to the purely equatorial forcing. However, the model-computed semiannual cycle lacks amplitude at mid-depth. This could be the result of either underestimating the strength of the second equatorial basin-mode of the fourth baroclinic mode or other processes not accounted for in the shallow-water models. Overall, our findings underline the importance of large-scale linear equatorial wave dynamics for the seasonal variability of the boundary circulation off Angola.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-04-01
    Description: Benthic storms are important for both the energy budget of the ocean and for sediment resuspension and transport. Using 30 years of output from a high-resolution model of the North Atlantic, it is found that most of the benthic storms in the model occur near the western boundary in association with the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Current, in regions that are generally co-located with the peak near-bottom eddy kinetic energy. A common feature are meander troughs in the near-surface jets that are accompanied by deep low pressure anomalies spinning up deep cyclones with near-bottom velocities of up to more than 0.5 m/s. A case study of one of these events shows the importance of both baroclinic and barotropic instability of the jet, with energy being extracted from the jet in the upstream part of the meander trough and partly returned to the jet in the downstream part of the meander trough. This motivates examining the 30-year time mean of the energy transfer from the (annual mean) background flow into the eddy kinetic energy. This quantity is shown to be co-located well with the region in which benthic storms and large increases in deep cyclonic relative vorticity occur most frequently, suggesting an important role for mixed barotropic-baroclinic instability driven cyclogenesis in generating benthic storms throughout the model simulation. Regions of largest energy transfer and most frequent benthic storms are found to be the Gulf Stream west of the New England Seamounts and the North Atlantic Current near Flemish Cap.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78 (12). pp. 2771-2777.
    Publication Date: 2019-03-07
    Description: A review is given of the meaning of the term “El Niño” and how it has changed in time, so there is no universal single definition. This needs to be recognized for scientific uses, and precision can only be achieved if the particular definition is identified in each use to reduce the possibility of misunderstanding. For quantitative purposes, possible definitions are explored that match the El Niños identified historically after 1950, and it is suggested that an El Niño can be said to occur if 5-month running means of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the Niño 3.4 region (5°N–5°S, 120°–170°W) exceed 0.4°C for 6 months or more. With this definition, El Niños occur 31% of the time and La Niñas (with an equivalent definition) occur 23% of the time. The histogram of Niño 3.4 SST anomalies reveals a bimodal character. An advantage of such a definition is that it allows the beginning, end, duration, and magnitude of each event to be quantified. Most El Niños begin in the northern spring or perhaps summer and peak from November to January in sea surface temperatures.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-12-15
    Description: Warm water of open ocean origin on the continental shelf of the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas causes the highest basal melt rates reported for Antarctic ice shelves with severe consequences for the ice shelf/ice sheet dynamics. Ice shelves fringing the broad continental shelf in the Weddell and Ross Seas melt at rates orders ofmagnitude smaller. However, simulations using coupled ice–ocean models forced with the atmospheric output of the HadCM3 SRES-A1B scenario run (CO2 concentration in the atmosphere reaches 700 ppmv by the year 2100 and stays at that level for an additional 100 years) show that the circulation in the southern Weddell Sea changes during the twenty-first century. Derivatives of Circumpolar Deep Water are directed southward underneath the Filchner–Ronne Ice Shelf, warming the cavity and dramatically increasing basal melting. To find out whether the open ocean will always continue to power the melting, the authors extend their simulations, applying twentieth-century atmospheric forcing, both alone and together with prescribed basal mass flux at the end of (or during) the SRES-A1B scenario run. The results identify a tipping point in the southern Weddell Sea: once warm water flushes the ice shelf cavity a positive meltwater feedback enhances the shelf circulation and the onshore transport of open ocean heat. The process is irreversible with a recurrence to twentieth-century atmospheric forcing and can only be halted through prescribing a return to twentieth-century basal melt rates. This finding might have strong implications for the stability of the Antarctic ice sheet.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-08-08
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Conference , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: On 24 and 25 October 1995, high-resolution oceanographic measurements were carried out in the Strait of Messina by using a towed conductivity-temperature-depth chain and a vessel-mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler. During the period of investigation the surface water of the Tyrrhenian Sea north of the strait sill was heavier than the surface water of the Ionian Sea south of the strait sill. As a consequence, during northward tidal flow surface water of the Ionian Sea spread as a surface jet into the Tyrrhenian Sea, whereas during southward tidal flow heavier surface water of the Tyrrhenian Sea spread, after having sunk to a depth of about 100 m, as a subsurface jet into the Ionian Sea. Both jets had the form of an internal bore, which finally developed into trains of internal solitary waves whose amplitudes were larger north than south of the strait sill. These measurements represent a detailed picture of the tidally induced internal dynamics in the Strait of Messina during the period of investigation, which contributes to elucidate several aspects of the general internal dynamics in the area: 1) Associated with the tidal flow are intense water jets whose equilibrium depth strongly depends on the horizontal density distribution along the Strait of Messina; 2) although climatological data show that a large horizontal density gradient in the near-surface layer along the Strait of Messina exists, its reversal can occur; 3) fluctuations in the larger-scale circulation patterns that determine the inflow of the modified Atlantic water into the Eastern Mediterranean Sea can be responsible for this reversal. As the tidally induced internal waves reflect the variability in the horizontal density distribution along the Strait of Messina, it is suggested that from the analysis of synthetic aperture radar imagery showing sea surface manifestations of internal waves in this area fluctuations of larger-scale circulation patterns in the Mediterranean Sea can be inferred.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 7
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 15 . pp. 1051-1059.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-04
    Description: A new optical disdrometer has been developed that is optimized for use in high wind speeds, for example, on board ships. The minimal detectable size of droplets is 0.35 mm. Each drop is measured separately with regard to its size and residence time within the sensitive volume. From the available information, the drop size distribution can be calculated with a resolution of 0.05 mm in diameter either by evaluation of the residence time of drops or by drop counting knowing the local wind. Experience shows that using the residence time leads to better results. Rain rates can be determined from the droplet spectra by assuming terminal fall velocity of the drops according to their size. Numerical modeling of disdrometer measurements has been performed, allowing the study of the effect of multiple occupancy of the sensitive volume and grazing incidences on disdrometer measurements. Based on these studies an iterative procedure has been developed to eliminate the impact of these effects on the calculated drop size distributions. This technique may also be applied to any other kind of disdrometer. Long-term simultaneous measurements of the disdrometer and a conventional rain gauge have been used to validate this procedure.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: A new numerical two-layer model is presented, which describes the generation of internal tidal bores and their disintegration into internal solitary waves in the Strait of Messina. This model is used to explain observations made by the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) from the European Remote Sensing satellites ERS 1 and ERS 2. The analysis of available ERS 1/2 SAR data of the Strait of Messina and adjacent sea areas show that 1) northward as well as southward propagating internal waves are generated in the Strait of Messina, 2) southward propagating internal waves are observed more frequently than northward propagating internal waves, 3) sea surface manifestations of southward as well as northward propagating internal waves are stronger during periods where a strong seasonal thermocline is known to be present, 4) southward propagating internal bores are released from the sill between 1 and 5 hours after maximum northward tidal flow and northward propagating internal bores are released between 2 and 6 hours after maximum southward tidal flow, and 5) the spatial separation between the first two internal solitary waves of southward propagating wave trains is smaller in the period from July to September than in the period from October to June. The numerical two-layer model is a composite of two models consisting of 1) a hydrostatic “generation model,” which describes the dynamics of the water masses in the region close to the strait’s sill, where internal bores are generated, and 2) a weakly nonhydrostatic “propagation model,” which describes the dynamics of the water masses outside of the sill region where internal bores may disintegrate into internal solitary waves. Due to a technique for movable lateral boundaries, the generation model is capable of simulating the dynamics of a lower layer that may intersect the bottom topography. The proposed generation–propagation model depends on one space variable only, but it retains several features of a fully three-dimensional model by including a realistic channel depth and a realistic channel width. It is driven by semidiurnal tidal oscillations of the sea level at the two open boundaries of the model domain. Numerical simulations elucidate several observed characteristics of the internal wave field in the Strait of Messina, such as north–south asymmetry, times of release of the internal bores from the strait’s sill, propagation speeds, and spatial separations between the first two solitary waves of internal wave trains.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 9
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 28 . pp. 1107-1129.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: On the basis of the collection of individual marine observations available from the Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Data Set, major parameters of the sea state were evaluated. Climatological fields of wind waves and swell height and period, as well as significant wave height and resultant period are obtained for the North Atlantic Ocean for the period from 1964 to 1993. Validation of the results against instrumental records from National Data Buoy Center buoys and ocean weather station measurements indicate relatively good agreement for wave height and systematic biases in the visually estimated periods that were corrected. Wave age, which is important for wind stress estimates, was evaluated form wave and wind observations. The climatology of wave age indicates younger waves in winter in the North Atlantic midlatitudes and Tropics. Wave age estimates were applied to the calculations of the wind stress using parameterizations from field experiments. Differences between wave-age-based and traditional estimates are not negligible in wintertime in midlatitudes and Tropics where wave-induced stress contributes from 5% to 15% to the total stress estimates. Importance of the obtained effects for ocean circulation and climate variability is discussed.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 10
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 29 . pp. 145-157.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: As a contribution to the WOCE Deep Basin Experiment, an array of current meters with individual record lengths exceeding ii years was set across the southern boundary of the Brazil Basin between early 1991 and early 1996. The array spanned the Santos Plateau, the Vema Channel, and the Hunter Channel, all areas believed to be important for transport of Antarctic Bottom Water between the Argentine and Brazil Basins. From the combination of geostrophic velocities computed from hydrographic stations and those directly measured, the total transport of bottom water (potential temperature below 2 degrees C) is estimated to be about 6.9 Sv (Sv = 10(6) m(3) s(-1)) northward, with about 4 Sv coming through the Vema Channel and the remainder through the Hunter Channel. Properties of the eddy field are also discussed. Eddy energy levels and their spatial distribution are similar to comparable regimes in the North Atlantic. Integral timescales vary from a few days to several weeks with distance from the Brazil Current and the western boundary. The eddy heat Bur is in the same direction as the heat advection by the mean flow but considerably smaller.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 11
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 25 (10). pp. 2444-2457.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-05
    Description: Surface heat and freshwater fluxes from the Comprehensive 0cean-Atmosphere Data Set are revised and used diagnostically to compute air-sea transformation rates on density, temperature, and salinity classes over the domain of the data. Maximum rates occur over the warmest water and over mode waters, which are the dominant result of air-sea interaction. Transformation in different is accordingly distinguished by temperature and salinity, just as water masses in different oceans are so distinguished. Over the entire domain, to about 30°S, approximately 80×106 m3 s−1 of warm cool water are transformed by air-sea fluxes, on annual average. Calculations for several seas in the North Atlantic, where deep water is thought to originate, we also presented.
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  • 12
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 27 . pp. 381-402.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: Parametric representations of oceanic geostrophic eddy transfer of heat and salt are studied ranging fromhorizontal diffusion to the more physically based approaches of Green and Stone (GS) and Gent and McWilliams(GM). The authors argue for a representation that combines the best aspects of GS and GM: transfer coefficientsthat vary in space and time in a manner that depends on the large-scale density fields (GS) and adoption of atransformed Eulerian mean formalism (GM). Recommendations are based upon a two-dimensional (zonally orazimuthally averaged) model with parameterized horizontal and vertical fluxes that is compared to three-dimensional numerical calculations in which the eddy transfer is resolved. Three different scenarios are considered: 1) a convective “chimney” where the baroclinic zone is created by differential surface cooling; 2) spindownof a frontal zone due to baroclinic eddies; and 3) a wind-driven, baroclinically unstable channel. Guided bybaroclinic instability theory and calibrated against eddy-resolving calculations, the authors recommend a formfor the horizontal transfer coefficient given by where Ri = f2N2/M4 is the large-scale Richardson number and f is the Coriolis parameter; M2 and N2 are measuresof the horizontal and vertical stratification of the large-scale flow, l measures the width of the baroclinic zone,and α is a constant of proportionality. In the very different scenarios studied here the authors find α to be a“universal” constant equal to 0.015, not dissimilar to that found by Green for geostrophic eddies in the atmosphere. The magnitude of the implied k, however, varies from 300 m2 s−1 in the chimney to 2000 m2 s−1 inthe wind-driven channel.
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  • 13
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 16 . pp. 133-145.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-04
    Description: The reliability of the Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Dataset (COADS) Release 1a 2° monthly winds is tested by comparing it with instrumental measurements in the northwest Atlantic from 1981 to 1991. The instrumental dataset contains anemometer measurements of a very high homogeneity and quality, which were taken by six research sister ships with known anemometer heights in the northwest Atlantic. Special data processing was made with instrumental samples to provide compatibility with the COADS winds. Comparison shows overestimation of the COADS winds in the low ranges and underestimation of the strong and moderate winds. Application of the alternative equivalent Beaufort scales does not remove this bias and makes it even more pronounced. Thus, the conclusion is made that the disagreement obtained results primarily from the uncertainties of anemometer measurements in COADS, especially from the incorrect evaluation of the true wind. Instrumental data also do not indicate significant long-term interannual changes, which are pronounced in the COADS dataset for the 1980s. Some regional features of the comparison are discussed.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 14
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 79 (10). pp. 2033-2058.
    Publication Date: 2016-09-07
    Description: In the autumn of 1996 the field component of an experiment designed to observe water mass transformation began in the Labrador Sea. Intense observations of ocean convection were taken in the following two winters. The purpose of the experiment was, by a combination of meteorological and oceanographic field observations, laboratory studies, theory, and modeling, to improve understanding of the convective process in the ocean and its representation in models. The dataset that has been gathered far exceeds previous efforts to observe the convective process anywhere in the ocean, both in its scope and range of techniques deployed. Combined with a comprehensive set of meteorological and air-sea flux measurements, it is giving unprecedented insights into the dynamics and thermodynamics of a closely coupled, semienclosed system known to have direct influence on the processes that control global climate.
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  • 15
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 10 . pp. 2743-2763.
    Publication Date: 2017-07-20
    Description: Differences between “classical” and “sampling” estimates of mean climatological heat fluxes and their seasonal and interannual variability are considered on the basis of individual marine observations from the Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Data Set. Calculations of fluxes were done for intramonthly averaging and for 1°–5° spatial averaging. Sampling estimates give in general 10% to 60% higher values of fluxes than do classical estimates. Spatial averaging has a larger effect than temporal averaging in the Tropics and subtropics, and temporal averaging is more effective than spatial averaging in midlatitudes. The largest absolute differences between sampling and classical estimates of fluxes are observed in middle latitudes, where they are 15 to 20 W m−2 for sensible heat flux and 50 to 70 W m−2 for latent heat flux. Differences between sampling and classical estimates can change the annual cycle of sea–air fluxes. There is a secular tendency of increasing “sampling- to-classical” ratios of 1% to 5% decade−1 over the North Atlantic. Relationships between sampling-to-classical ratios and parameters of the sea–air interface, the number of observations, and the spatial arrangement of samples are considered. Climatologically significant differences between sampling and classical estimates are analyzed in terms of the contribution from different covariances between individual variables. The influence of different parameterizations of the transfer coefficients on sampling minus classical differences is considered. Parameterizations that indicate growing transfer coefficients with wind speed give the larger sampling minus classical differences in comparison with those based on either constant or decreasing with wind coefficients. Nevertheless, over the North Atlantic midlatitudes, all parameterizations indicate significant sampling minus classical differences of about several tens of watts per square meter. The importance of differences between sampling and classical estimates for the evaluation of meridional heat transport shows that differences between sampling and classical estimates can lead to 0.5–1-PW differences in meridional heat transport estimates.
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  • 16
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 27 . pp. 1894-1902.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: The relative importance of the formation of different North Atlantic Deep Water masses on the meridional overturning is examined with a non-eddy-resolving version of the CME model. In contrast to a frequently held belief, convective deep-water formation south of the North Atlantic sill does not significantly force the large-scale overturning if an adequate overflow across the sill can be represented by the model. The sensitivity of the meridional transport to the surface thermohaline forcing is increased under alternate climatic conditions such as increased surface cooling or reduced overflow compared to the present-day situation. The results indicate that climate models may be too sensitive to decadal timescale variability of the surface forcing in subpolar regions.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 17
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 12 (8). pp. 2607-2624.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-24
    Description: The predictability of the coupled ocean–atmosphere climate system on interannual to decadal timescales has been studied by means of ensemble forecast experiments with a global coupled ocean–atmosphere general circulation model. Over most parts of the globe the model’s predictability can be sufficiently explained by damped persistence as expected from the stochastic climate model concept with damping times of considerably less than a year. Nevertheless, the tropical Pacific and the North Atlantic Ocean exhibit oscillatory coupled ocean–atmosphere modes, which lead to longer predictability timescales. While the tropical mode shares many similarities with the observed ENSO phenomenon, the coupled mode within the North Atlantic region exhibits a typical period of about 30 yr and relies on an interaction of the oceanic thermohaline circulation and the atmospheric North Atlantic oscillation. The model’s ENSO-like oscillation is predictable up to one-third to one-half (2–3 yr) of the oscillation period both in the ocean and the atmosphere. The North Atlantic yields considerably longer predictability timescales (of the order of a decade) only for quantities describing the model’s thermohaline circulation. For surface quantities and atmospheric variables only marginal predictability (of the order of a year) was obtained. The predictability of the coupled signal at the surface is destroyed by the large amount of internally generated (weather) noise. This is illustrated by means of a simple conceptual model for coupled ocean–atmosphere variability and predictability.
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  • 18
    Publication Date: 2018-07-24
    Description: The role of anomalous Indian Ocean sea surface temperature (SST) in forcing east African rainfall anomalies during December–January 1997/98 has been investigated by means of atmospheric model response experiments. It is shown that the strong precipitation anomalies that led to severe flooding over eastern equatorial Africa can be directly related to the contemporaneous changes in the Indian Ocean’s SST. The authors’ set of ensemble experiments prescribing SST anomalies in different ocean basins indicates further that the El Niño–related SST anomalies in the equatorial Pacific did not directly drive the changes in the climate over eastern Africa.
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  • 19
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 11 (4). pp. 602-624.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-24
    Description: The interdecadal variability as simulated by coupled ocean–atmosphere models is reviewed. Emphasis is given to that class of interdecadal variability that arises from ocean–atmosphere interactions. The interdecadal variability simulated can be classified roughly into four classes: tropical interdecadal variability, interdecadal variability that involves both the Tropics and the extratropics as active regions, midlatitudinal interdecadal variability involving the wind-driven ocean gyres, and midlatitudinal interdecadal variability involving the thermohaline circulation. Several coupled models predict the existence of different interdecadal climate cycles, with periods ranging from approximately 10–50 yr. This implies some inherent predictability at decadal timescales, provided that these interdecadal cycles exist in the real climate system.
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  • 20
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 11 (5). pp. 831-847.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-24
    Description: In this paper a decadal climate cycle in the North Atlantic that was derived from an extended-range integration with a coupled ocean–atmosphere general circulation model is described. The decadal mode shares many features with the observed decadal variability in the North Atlantic. The period of the simulated oscillation, however, is somewhat longer than that estimated from observations. While the observations indicate a period of about 12 yr, the coupled model simulation yields a period of about 17 yr. The cyclic nature of the decadal variability implies some inherent predictability at these timescales. The decadal mode is based on unstable air–sea interactions and must be therefore regarded as an inherently coupled mode. It involves the subtropical gyre and the North Atlantic oscillation. The memory of the coupled system, however, resides in the ocean and is related to horizontal advection and to the oceanic adjustment to low-frequency wind stress curl variations. In particular, it is found that variations in the intensity of the Gulf Stream and its extension are crucial to the oscillation. Although differing in details, the North Atlantic decadal mode and the North Pacific mode described by M. Latif and T. P. Barnett are based on the same fundamental mechanism: a feedback loop between the wind driven subtropical gyre and the extratropical atmospheric circulation.
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  • 21
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 10 (9). pp. 2221-2239.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-24
    Description: The dominant variability modes in the Tropics are investigated and contrasted with the anomalous situation observed during the last few years. The prime quantity analyzed is anomalous sea surface temperature (SST) in the region 30°S–60°N. Additionally, observed tropical surface wind stress fields were investigated. Further tropical atmospheric information was derived from a multidecadal run with an atmospheric general circulation model that was forced by the same SSTs. The tropical SST variability can be characterized by three modes: an interannual mode [the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO)], a decadal mode, and a trend or unresolved ultra-low-frequency variability. The dominant mode of SST variability is the ENSO mode. It is strongest in the eastern equatorial Pacific, but influences also the SSTs in other regions through atmospheric teleconnections, such as the Indian and North Pacific Oceans. The ENSO mode was strong during the 1980s, but it existed with very weak amplitude and short period after 1991. The second most energetic mode is characterized by considerable decadal variability. This decadal mode is connected with SST anomalies of the same sign in all three tropical oceans. The tropical Pacific signature of the decadal mode resembles closely that observed during the last few years and can be characterized by a horseshoe pattern, with strongest SST anomalies in the western equatorial Pacific, extending to the northeast and southeast into the subtropics. It is distinct from the ENSO mode, since it is not connected with any significant SST anomalies in the eastern equatorial Pacific, which is the ENSO key region. However, the impact of the decadal mode on the tropical climate resembles in many respects that of ENSO. In particular, the decadal mode is strongly linked to decadal rainfall fluctuations over northeastern Australia in the observations. It is shown that the anomalous 1990s were dominated by the decadal mode. Considerable SST variability can be attributed also to a linear trend or unresolved ultra-low-frequency variability. This trend that might be related to greenhouse warming is rather strong and positive in the Indian Ocean and western equatorial Pacific where it accounts for up to 30% of the total SST variability. Consistent with the increase of SST in the warm pool region, the trends over the tropical Pacific derived from both the observations and the model indicate a strengthening of the trade winds. This is inconsistent with the conditions observed during the 1990s. If the wind trends reflect greenhouse warming, it must be concluded that the anomalous 1990s are not caused by greenhouse warming. Finally, hybrid coupled ocean–atmosphere model experiments were conducted in order to investigate the sensistivity of ENSO to the low-frequency changes induced by the decadal mode and the trend. The results indicate that ENSO is rather sensitive to these changes in the background conditions.
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  • 22
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 10 (7). pp. 1488-1504.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-24
    Description: The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon is modeled as a stochastically driven dynamical system. This was accomplished by adding to a Hybrid Coupled Model (HCM) of the tropical Pacific ocean–atmosphere system a stochastic wind stress anomaly field that was derived from observations. The model exhibits irregular interannual fluctuations, whose space–time characteristics resemble those of the observed interannual climate variability in this region. To investigate the predictability of the model, the authors performed ensemble integrations with different realizations of the stochastic wind stress forcing. The ensembles were initialized at various phases of the model’s ENSO cycle simulated in a 120-yr integration with a particular noise realization. The numerical experiments indicate that the ENSO predictability is severely limited by the stochastic wind stress forcing. Linear stochastic processes were fitted to the restart ensembles in a reduced state space. A predictability measure based on a comparison of the stationary and the time-dependent probability distributions of the fitted linear models reveals an ENSO predictability limit of considerably less than an average cycle length.
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  • 23
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 9 (10). pp. 2407-2423.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-23
    Description: The dynamics and predictability of decadal climate variability over the North Pacific and North America are investigated by analyzing various observational datasets and the output of a state of the art coupled ocean–atmosphere general circulation model that was integrated for 125 years. Both the observations and model results support the picture that the decadal variability in the region of interest is based on a cycle involving unstable ocean–atmosphere interactions over the North Pacific. The period of this cycle is of the order of a few decades. The cycle involves the two major circulation regimes in the North Pacific climate system, the subtropical ocean gyre, and the Aleutian low. When, for instance, the subtropical ocean gyre is anomalously strong, more warm tropical waters are transported poleward by the Kuroshio and its extension, leading to a positive SST anomaly in the North Pacific. The atmospheric response to this SST anomaly involves a weakened Aleutian low, and the associated fluxes at the air–sea interface reinforce the initial SST anomaly, so that ocean and atmosphere act as a positive feedback system. The anomalous heat flux, reduced ocean mixing in response to a weakened storm track, and anonmalous Ekman heat transport contribute to this positive feedback. The atmospheric response, however, consists also of a wind stress curl anomaly that spins down the subtropical ocean gyre, thereby reducing the poleward heat transport and the initial SST anomaly. The ocean adjusts with some time lag to the change in the wind stress curl, and it is this transient ocean response that allows continuous oscillations. The transient response can be expressed in terms of baroclinic planetary waves, and the decadal timescale of the oscillation is therefore determined to first order by wave timescales. Advection by the mean currents, however, is not negligible. The existence of such a cycle provides the basis of long-range climate forecasting over North America at decadal timescales. At a minimum, knowledge of the present phase of the decadal mode should allow a “now-cast” of expected climate “bias” over North America, which is equivalent to a climate forecast several years ahead.
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  • 24
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 9 (1). pp. 219-239.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-23
    Description: The physics of the Indo–Pacific warm pool are investigated using a coupled ocean atmosphere general circulation model. The model, developed at the Max-Planck-Institut fair Meteorologic, Hamburg, does not employ a flux correction and is used with atmospheres at T42 and T21 resolution. The simulations are compared with observations, and the model's mean and seasonal heat budgets and physics in the Indo–Pacific warm pool region are explored for the T42 resolution run. Despite the simulation of a split intertropical convergence zone, and of a cold tongue that extends too far to the west, simulated warm pool temperatures are consistent with observations at T42 resolution, while the T21 resolution yields a cold bias of 1K. At T42 resolution the seasonal migration of the warm pool is reproduced reasonably well, as are the surface heat fluxes, winds, and clouds. However, simulated precipitation is too small compared to observations, implying that the surface density flux is dominated by fluxes of heat. In the Pacific portion of the warm pool, the average net heat gain of the ocean amounts to 30–40 W m−2. In the northern branch, this heat gain is balanced by vertical advection, while in the southern branch, zonal, meridional, and vertical advection cool the ocean at approximately equal rates. At the equator, the surface heat flux is balanced by zonal and vertical advection and vertical mixing. The Indonesian and Indian Ocean portions of the warm pool receive from the atmosphere 30 and 50 W m−2, respectively, and this flux is balanced by vertical advection. The cooling due to vertical advection stems from numerical diffusion associated with the upstream scheme, the coarse vertical resolution of the ocean model, and near-inertial oscillations forced by high-frequency atmospheric variability. The seasonal migration of the warm pool is largely a result of the seasonal variability of the net surface heat flux, horizontal and vertical advections are of secondary importance and increase the seasonal range of surface temperature slightly everywhere in the warm pool, with the exception of its southern branch. There, advection reduces the effect of the surface flux. The seasonal variability of the surface heat flux in turn is mainly determined by the shortwave radiation, but evaporation modifies the signal significantly. The annual cycles of reduction of solar radiation due to clouds and SST evolve independently from each other in the Pacific portion of the warm pool; that is, clouds have little impact on SST. In the Indian Ocean, however, clouds limit the maximum SST attained during the annual cycle. In the western Pacific and Indonesian portion of the warm pool, penetrative shortwave radiation leads to convective mixing by heating deeper levels at a greater rate than the surface, which experiences heat losses due to turbulent and longwave heat fluxes. In the deeper levels, there is no mechanism to balance the heating due to penetrative radiation, except convection and its attendant mixing. In the Indian Ocean, however. the resulting vertical heating profile due to the surface fluxes decreases monotonically with depth and does not support convective mixing. Concurrently, the warm pool is shallower in the Indian Ocean compared with the western Pacific, indicating that convective mixing due to penetrative radiation is important in maintaining the vertical structure of the Pacific portion of the warm pool.
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  • 25
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 8 (4). pp. 952-964.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-23
    Description: The authors have investigated the interactions of the tropical oceans on interannual timescales by conducting a series of uncoupled atmospheric and oceanic general circulation experiments and hybrid-coupled model simulations. The results illustrate the key role of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation phenomenon in generating interannual variability in all three tropical ocean basins. Sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical Pacific force SST anomalies of the same sign in the Indian Ocean and SST anomalies of the opposite sign in the Atlantic via a changed atmospheric circulation. However, although air-sea interactions in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans are much weaker than those in the Pacific, they contribute significantly to the variability in these two regions. The role of these air-sea interactions is mainly that of an amplifier by which the ENSO-induced signals are enhanced in the ocean and atmosphere. This process is particularly important in the tropical Atlantic region. The authors investigated, also, whether ENSO is part of a zonally propagating “wave,” which travels around the globe with a timescale of several years. Consistent with observations, the upper-ocean heat content in the various numerical simulators seems to propagate slowly around the globe. SST anomalies in the Pacific Ocean introduce a global atmospheric response, which in turn forces variations in the other tropical oceans. Since the different oceans exhibit different response characteristics to low-frequency wind changes, the individual tropical ocean responses can add up coincidentally to look like a global wave, and that appears to be the situation. In particular, no evidence is found that the Indian Ocean can significantly affect the ENSO cycle in the Pacific. Finally, the potential for climate forecasts in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans appears to be enhanced if one includes, in a coupled way, remote influences from the Pacific.
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  • 26
    Publication Date: 2018-04-16
    Description: Classical theory concerning theEliassen–Palmrelation is extended in this study to allowfor a unified treatment of midlatitude inertia–gravity waves (MIGWs), midlatitude Rossby waves (MRWs), and equatorial waves (EQWs). A conservation equation for what the authors call the impulse-bolus (IB) pseudomomentum is useful, because it is applicable to ageostrophic waves, and the associated three-dimensional flux is parallel to the direction of the group velocity of MRWs. The equation has previously been derived in an isentropic coordinate system or a shallow-water model. The authors make an explicit comparison of prognostic equations for the IB pseudomomentum vector and the classical energy-based (CE) pseudomomentum vector, assuming inviscid linear waves in a sufficiently weak mean flow, to provide a basis for the former quantity to be used in an Eulerian time-mean (EM) framework. The authors investigate what makes the three-dimensional fluxes in the IB and CE pseudomomentum equations look in different directions. It is found that the two fluxes are linked by a gauge transformation, previously unmentioned, associated with a divergence-form wave-induced pressure L. The quantity L vanishes for MIGWs and becomes nonzero for MRWs and EQWs, and it may be estimated using the virial theorem. Concerning the effect of waves on the mean flow, L represents an additional effect in the pressure gradient term of both (the three-dimensional versions of) the transformed EM momentum equations and the merged form of the EMmomentumequations, the latter of which is associated with the nonacceleration theorem.
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  • 27
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 28 (24). pp. 9697-9706.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-25
    Description: The upper tropical Atlantic Ocean has markedly warmed since the 1960s. It has been shown that this warming was not due to local heat fluxes, and that the trade winds that drive the coastal and equatorial upwelling have intensified rather than weakened. Remote forcing might thus have played an important role. Here model experiments are used to investigate the contribution from an increased inflow of warm Indian Ocean water through Agulhas leakage. A high-resolution hindcast experiment with interannually varying forcing for the time period 1948 to 2007, in which Agulhas leakage increases by about 45% from the 1960s to the early 2000s, reproduces the observed warming trend. To tease out the role of Agulhas leakage, a sensitivity experiment designed to only increase Agulhas leakage is used. Compared to a control simulation it shows a pronounced warming in the upper tropical Atlantic Ocean. A Lagrangian trajectory analysis confirms that a significant portion of Agulhas leakage water reaches the upper 300m of the tropical Atlantic Ocean within two decades, and that the tropical Atlantic warming in the sensitivity experiment is mainly due to water of Agulhas origin. Therefore, it is suggested that the increased trade winds since the 1960s favor upwelling of warmer subsurface waters, which in parts originate from the Agulhas, leading to higher SSTs in the tropics
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  • 28
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 28 (1). pp. 168-185.
    Publication Date: 2018-01-01
    Description: Variations in the global tropospheric zonal mean zonal wind ([U]) during boreal winter are investigated using Rotated Empirical Orthogonal Functions applied to monthly means. The first two modes correspond to the Northern and Southern Annular Mode and modes 3 and 4 represent variability in the tropics. One is related to El Niño Southern Oscillation and the other has variability that is highly correlated with the time series of [U] at 150 hPa between 5°N and 5°S ([U150]E) and is related to activity of the Madden-Julian Oscillation. The extratropical response to [U150]E is investigated using linear regressions of 500 hPa geopotential height onto the [U150]E time series. We make use of reanalysis data and of the ensemble mean output from a relaxation experiment using the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts model in which the tropical atmosphere is relaxed towards reanalysis data. The regression analysis reveals that a shift of the Aleutian low and a wave train across the North Atlantic are associated with [U150]E. We find that the subtropical waveguides and the link between the North Pacific and North Atlantic are stronger during the easterly phase of [U150]E. The wave train over the North Atlantic is associated with Rossby wave sources over the subtropical North Pacific and North America. Finally, we show that a linear combination of both [U150]E and the Quasi Biennial Oscillation in the lower stratosphere can explain the circulation anomalies of the anomalously cold European winter of 1962/63 when both were in an extreme easterly phase.
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  • 29
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 45 . pp. 1709-1734.
    Publication Date: 2017-12-19
    Description: We perform eddy-resolving and high-vertical-resolution numerical simulations of the circulation in an idealized equatorial Atlantic Ocean in order to explore the formation of the deep equatorial circulation (DEC) in this basin. Unlike in previous studies, the deep equatorial intraseasonal variability (DEIV) that is believed to be the source of the DEC is generated internally by instabilities of the upper ocean currents. Two main simulations are discussed: Solution 1, configured with a rectangular basin and with wind forcing that is zonally and temporally uniform; and Solution 2, with realistic coastlines and with an annual cycle of wind forcing varying zonally. Somewhat surprisingly, Solution 1 produces the more realistic DEC: The large-vertical-scale currents (Equatorial Intermediate Currents or EICs) are found over a large zonal portion of the basin, and the small-vertical-scale equatorial currents (Equatorial Deep Jets or EDJs) form low-frequency, quasi-resonant, baroclinic equatorial basin modes with phase propagating mostly downward, consistent with observations. We demonstrate that both types of currents arise from the rectification of DEIV, consistent with previous theories. We also find that the EDJs contribute to maintaining the EICs, suggesting that the nonlinear energy transfer is more complex than previously thought. In Solution 2, the DEC is unrealistically weak and less spatially coherent than in the first simulation probably because of its weaker DEIV. Using intermediate solutions, we find that the main reason for this weaker DEIV is the use of realistic coastlines in Solution 2. It remains to be determined, what needs to be modified or included to obtain a realistic DEC in the more realistic configuration.
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2017-10-24
    Description: Predictability on seasonal time scales over the North Atlantic–Europe region is assessed using a seasonal prediction system based on an initialized version of the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM). For this region, two of the dominant predictors on seasonal time scales are El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events. Multiple studies have shown a potential for improved North Atlantic predictability for either predictor. Their respective influences are however difficult to disentangle, since the stratosphere is itself impacted by ENSO. Both El Niño and SSW events correspond to a negative signature of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which has a major influence on European weather. This study explores the impact on Europe by separating the stratospheric pathway of the El Niño teleconnection. In the seasonal prediction system, the evolution of El Niño events is well captured for lead times of up to 6 months, and stratospheric variability is reproduced with a realistic frequency of SSW events. The model reproduces the El Niño teleconnection through the stratosphere, involving a deepened Aleutian low connected to a warm anomaly in the northern winter stratosphere. The stratospheric anomaly signal then propagates downward into the troposphere through the winter season. Predictability of 500-hPa geopotential height over Europe at lead times of up to 4 months is shown to be increased only for El Niño events that exhibit SSW events, and it is shown that the characteristic negative NAO signal is only obtained for winters also containing major SSW events for both the model and the reanalysis data.
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  • 31
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 96, Special supplement (7). S157-S160.
    Publication Date: 2018-06-20
    Description: [in “State of the Climate in 2014” : Special Supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Vol. 96, No. 7, July 2015]
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  • 32
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 29 (1). pp. 61-76.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The transport of dissolved oxygen (O2) from the surface ocean into the interior is a critical process sustaining aerobic life in mesopelagic ecosystems, but its rates and sensitivity to climate variations are poorly understood. Using a circulation model constrained to historical variability by assimilation of observations, we show that the North Pacific thermocline effectively takes up O2 primarily by expanding the area through which O2-rich mixed layer water is detrained into the thermocline. The outcrop area during the critical winter season varies in concert with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). When the central North Pacific Ocean is in a cold phase, the winter outcrop window for the Central Mode Water class (CMW; a neutral density range of γ = 25.6 - 26.6) expands southward allowing more O2-rich surface water to enter the ocean’s interior. An increase in volume flux of water to the CMW density class is partly compensated by a reduced supply to the shallower densities of Subtropical Mode Water (γ = 24.0 - 25.5). The thermocline has become better oxygenated since the 1980s due partly to strong O2 uptake. Positive O2 anomalies appear first near the outcrop and subsequently downstream in the subtropical gyre. In contrast to the O2 variations within the ventilated thermocline, observed O2 in Intermediate Water (density range of γ = 26.7 – 27.2) shows a declining trend over the past half-century, a trend not explained by the open ocean water mass formation rate.
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  • 33
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 97 (6). pp. 1069-1072.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Downward wave coupling occurs when an upward propagating planetary wave from the troposphere decelerates the flow in the upper stratosphere, and forms a downward reflecting surface that redirects waves back to the troposphere. To test this mechanism and potential factors influencing the downward wave coupling, three 145-year sensitivity simulations with NCAR’s Community Earth System Model (CESM-WACCM), a state-of-the-art high-top chemistry-climate model, are analyzed. The results show that the QBO and SST variability significantly impact downward wave coupling. Without the QBO, the occurrence of downward wave coupling is significantly suppressed. In contrast, stronger and more persistent downward wave coupling occurs when SST variability is excluded. The above influence on the occurrence of downward wave coupling is mostly due to a direct influence of the QBO and SST variability on stratospheric planetary wave source and propagation. The strengths of the tropospheric circulation and surface responses to a given downward wave coupling event, however, behave differently. The surface anomaly is significantly weaker (stronger) in the experiment with fixed SSTs (without QBO), even though the statistical signal of downward coupling is strongest (weakest) in this experiment. This apparent mismatch is explained by the differences in the strength of the synoptic-scale eddy-mean flow feedback and the possible contribution of SST anomalies in the North Atlantic during DWC event. The weaker synoptic-scale eddy-mean flow feedback, and the absence of the positive NAO-related SST-tripole pattern in the fixed SST experiment are consistent with a weaker tropospheric response in this experiment. The results highlight the importance of synoptic-scale eddies in setting the tropospheric response to downward wave coupling.
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: There is evidence that the strengthened stratospheric westerlies arising from the Antarctic ozone hole–induced cooling cause a polar mesospheric warming and a subsequent cooling in the lower thermosphere. While previous studies focus on the role of nonresolved (gravity) wave drag filtering, here the role of resolved (planetary) wave drag and radiative forcing on the Antarctic mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) is explored in detail. Using simulations with NCAR’s Community Earth System Model, version 1 (Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model) [CESM1(WACCM)], it is found that in late spring and early summer the anomalous polar mesospheric warming induced by easterly nonresolved wave drag is dampened by anomalous dynamical cooling induced by westerly resolved wave drag. This resolved wave drag is attributed to planetary-scale wave (k = 1–3) activity, which is generated in situ as a result of increased instability of the summer mesospheric easterly jet induced by the ozone hole. On the other hand, the anomalous cooling in the polar lower thermosphere induced by westerly nonresolved wave drag is enhanced by anomalous dynamical cooling due to westerly resolved wave drag. In addition, radiative effects from increased greenhouse gases during the ozone hole period contribute partially to the cooling in the polar lower thermosphere. The polar MLT temperature response to the Antarctic ozone hole is, through thermal wind balance, accompanied by the downward migration of anomalous zonal-mean wind from the lower thermosphere to the stratopause. The results highlight that a proper accounting of both dynamical and radiative effects is required in order to correctly attribute the causes of the polar MLT response to the Antarctic ozone hole.
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: A German national project coordinates research on improving a global decadal climate prediction system for future operational use. MiKlip, an eight-year German national research project on decadal climate prediction, is organized around a global prediction system comprising the climate model MPI-ESM together with an initialization procedure and a model evaluation system. This paper summarizes the lessons learned from MiKlip so far; some are purely scientific, others concern strategies and structures of research that targets future operational use. Three prediction-system generations have been constructed, characterized by alternative initialization strategies; the later generations show a marked improvement in hindcast skill for surface temperature. Hindcast skill is also identified for multi-year-mean European summer surface temperatures, extra-tropical cyclone tracks, the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, and ocean carbon uptake, among others. Regionalization maintains or slightly enhances the skill in European surface temperature inherited from the global model and also displays hindcast skill for wind-energy output. A new volcano code package permits rapid modification of the predictions in response to a future eruption. MiKlip has demonstrated the efficacy of subjecting a single global prediction system to a major research effort. The benefits of this strategy include the rapid cycling through the prediction-system generations, the development of a sophisticated evaluation package usable by all MiKlip researchers, and regional applications of the global predictions. Open research questions include the optimal balance between model resolution and ensemble size, the appropriate method for constructing a prediction ensemble, and the decision between full-field and anomaly initialization. Operational use of the MiKlip system is targeted for the end of the current decade, with a recommended generational cycle of two to three years.
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Seasonal variability of the tropical Atlantic circulation is dominated by the annual cycle, but semi-annual variability is also pronounced, despite weak forcing at that period. Here we use multi-year, full-depth velocity measurements from the central equatorial Atlantic to analyze the vertical structure of annual and semi-annual variations of zonal velocity. A baroclinic modal decomposition finds that the annual cycle is dominated by the 4th mode and the semi-annual cycle by the 2nd mode. Similar local behavior is found in a high-resolution general circulation model. This simulation reveals that the annual and semi-annual cycles of the respective dominant baroclinic modes are associated with characteristic basin-wide structures. Using an idealized linear reduced-gravity model to simulate the dynamics of individual baroclinic modes, it is shown that the observed circulation variability can be explained by resonant equatorial basin modes. Corollary simulations of the reduced-gravity model with varying basin geometry (i.e. square basin versus realistic coastlines) or forcing (i.e. spatially uniform versus spatially variable wind) show a structural robustness of the simulated basin modes. A main focus of this study is the seasonal variability of the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) as identified in recent observational studies. Main characteristics of the observed EUC including seasonal variability of transport, core depth, and maximum core velocity can be explained by the linear superposition of the dominant equatorial basin modes as obtained from the reduced-gravity model.
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Latent heat fluxes (LHF) play an essential role in the global energy budget and are thus important for understanding the climate system. Satellite-based remote sensing permits a large-scale determination of LHF, which, amongst others, are based on near-surface specific humidity qa. However, the qa random retrieval error (Etot) remains unknown. Here, a novel approach is presented to quantify the error contributions to pixel-level qa of the Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite (HOAPS, version 3.2) dataset. The methodology makes use of multiple triple collocation (MTC) analysis between 1995-2008 over the global ice-free oceans. Apart from satellite records, these datasets include selected ship records extracted from the Seewetteramt Hamburg (SWA) archive and the International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set (ICOADS), serving as the in-situ ground reference. The MTC approach permits the derivation of Etot as the sum of model uncertainty EM and sensor noise EN, while random uncertainties due to in-situ measurement errors (Eins) and collocation (EC) are isolated concurrently. Results show an Etot average of 1.1 ± 0.3 g kg-1, whereas the mean EC (Eins) is in the order of 0.5 ± 0.1 g kg-1 (0.5 ± 0.3 g kg-1). Regional analyses indicate a maximum of Etot exceeding 1.5 g kg-1 within humidity regimes of 12-17 g kg-1, associated with the single-parameter, multilinear qa retrieval applied in HOAPS. Multi-dimensional bias analysis reveals that global maxima are located off the Arabian Peninsula.
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: Well-known problems trouble coupled general circulation models of the eastern Atlantic and Pacific Ocean basins. Model climates are significantly more symmetric about the equator than is observed. Model sea surface temperatures are biased warm south and southeast of the equator, and the atmosphere is too rainy within a band south of the equator. Near-coastal eastern equatorial SSTs are too warm, producing a zonal SST gradient in the Atlantic opposite in sign to that observed. The U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability Program (CLIVAR) Eastern Tropical Ocean Synthesis Working Group (WG) has pursued an updated assessment of coupled model SST biases, focusing on the surface energy balance components, on regional error sources from clouds, deep convection, winds, and ocean eddies; on the sensitivity to model resolution; and on remote impacts. Motivated by the assessment, the WG makes the following recommendations: 1) encourage identification of the specific parameterizations contributing to the biases in individual models, as these can be model dependent; 2) restrict multimodel intercomparisons to specific processes; 3) encourage development of high-resolution coupled models with a concurrent emphasis on parameterization development of finer-scale ocean and atmosphere features, including low clouds; 4) encourage further availability of all surface flux components from buoys, for longer continuous time periods, in persistently cloudy regions; and 5) focus on the eastern basin coastal oceanic upwelling regions, where further opportunities for observational–modeling synergism exist.
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The Weddell Sea polynya is a large opening in the open-ocean sea ice cover associated with intense deep convection in the ocean. A necessary condition to form and maintain a polynya is the presence of a strong subsurface heat reservoir. This study investigates the processes that control the stratification and hence the buildup of the subsurface heat reservoir in the Weddell Sea. To do so, a climate model run for 200 years under preindustrial forcing with two eddying resolutions in the ocean (0.25° CM2.5 and 0.10° CM2.6) is investigated. Over the course of the simulation, CM2.6 develops two polynyas in the Weddell Sea, while CM2.5 exhibits quasi-continuous deep convection but no polynyas, exemplifying that deep convection is not a sufficient condition for a polynya to occur. CM2.5 features a weaker subsurface heat reservoir than CM2.6 owing to weak stratification associated with episodes of gravitational instability and enhanced vertical mixing of heat, resulting in an erosion of the reservoir. In contrast, in CM2.6, the water column is more stably stratified, allowing the subsurface heat reservoir to build up. The enhanced stratification in CM2.6 arises from its refined horizontal grid spacing and resolution of topography, which allows, in particular, a better representation of the restratifying effect by transient mesoscale eddies and of the overflows of dense waters along the continental slope.
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  • 41
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 30 (22). pp. 8913-8927.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: The regional climate model COSMOin Climate Limited-AreaMode (COSMO-CLM or CCLM) is used with a high resolution of 15km for the entire Arctic for all winters 2002/03–2014/15. The simulations show a high spatial and temporal variability of the recent 2-m air temperature increase in the Arctic. The maximum warming occurs north of Novaya Zemlya in the Kara Sea and Barents Sea between March 2003 and 2012 and is responsible for up to a 208C increase. Land-based observations confirm the increase but do not cover the maximum regions that are located over the ocean and sea ice.Also, the 30-km version of theArctic SystemReanalysis (ASR) is used to verify the CCLM for the overlapping time period 2002/03–2011/12. The differences between CCLM and ASR 2-m air temperatures vary slightly within 18C for the ocean and sea ice area. Thus,ASR captures the extreme warming as well. The monthly 2-m air temperatures of observations and ERA-Interim data show a large variability for the winters 1979–2016. Nevertheless, the air temperature rise since the beginning of the twenty-first century is up to 8 times higher than in the decades before. The sea ice decrease is identified as the likely reason for the warming. The vertical temperature profiles show that the warming has a maximum near the surface, but a 0.58Cyr21 increase is found up to 2 km. CCLM, ASR, and also the coarser resolved ERA-Interim data show that February and March are the months with the highest 2-m air temperature increases, averaged over the ocean and sea ice area north of 708N; for CCLM the warming amounts to an average of almost 58C for 2002/03–2011/12.
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  • 42
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 72 (7). pp. 2786-2805.
    Publication Date: 2019-01-08
    Description: In Ammassalik, in southeast Greenland, downslope winds can reach hurricane intensity and represent a hazard for the local population and environment. They advect cold air down the ice sheet and over the Irminger Sea, where they drive large ocean–atmosphere heat fluxes over an important ocean convection region. Earlier studies have found them to be associated with a strong katabatic acceleration over the steep coastal slopes, flow convergence inside the valley of Ammassalik, and—in one instance—mountain wave breaking. Yet, for the general occurrence of strong downslope wind events, the importance of mesoscale processes is largely unknown. Here, two wind events—one weak and one strong—are simulated with the atmospheric Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model with different model and topography resolutions, ranging from 1.67 to 60 km. For both events, but especially for the strong one, it is found that lower resolutions underestimate the wind speed because they misrepresent the steepness of the topography and do not account for the underlying wave dynamics. If a 5-km model instead of a 60-km model resolution in Ammassalik is used, the flow associated with the strong wind event is faster by up to 20 m s−1. The effects extend far downstream over the Irminger Sea, resulting in a diverging spatial distribution and temporal evolution of the heat fluxes. Local differences in the heat fluxes amount to 20%, with potential implications for ocean convection.
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  • 43
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 75 (8). pp. 2815-2826.
    Publication Date: 2019-03-01
    Description: The formation of secondary ice in clouds, i.e. ice particles that are created at temperatures above the limit for homogeneous freezing without the direct involvement of a heterogeneous ice nucleus is one of the longest standing puzzles in cloud physics. Here we present comprehensive laboratory investigations on the formation of small ice particles upon the freezing of drizzle-sized cloud droplets levitated in an electrodynamic balance. Four different categories of secondary ice formation (bubble bursting, jetting, cracking, breakup) could be detected and their respective frequencies of occurrence as a function of temperature and droplet size are given. We find that bubble bursting occurs more often than droplet splitting. While we do not observe the shattering of droplets into many large fragments, we find that the average number of small secondary ice particles released during freezing is strongly droplet-size dependent and may well exceed unity for droplets larger than 300 μm in diameter. This leaves droplet fragmentation an important secondary ice process effective at temperatures around -10 °C in clouds where large drizzle droplets are present.
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  • 44
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 31 (19). pp. 7969-7984.
    Publication Date: 2019-02-01
    Description: This study analyzes the response of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) to different CO2 concentrations and two ice sheet configurations in simulations with the coupled climate model MPI-ESM. With preindustrial (PI) ice sheets, there are two different AMOC states within the studied CO2 range: one state with a strong and deep upper overturning cell at high CO2 concentrations and one state with a weak and shallow upper cell at low CO2 concentrations. Changes in AMOC variability with decreasing CO2 indicate two stability thresholds. The strong state is stable above the first threshold near 217 ppm, and the weak state is stable below the second threshold near 190 ppm. Between the two thresholds, both states are marginally unstable, and the AMOC oscillates between them on millennial time scales. The weak AMOC state is stable when Antarctic Bottom Water becomes dense and salty enough to replace North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) in the deep North Atlantic and when the density gain over the North Atlantic becomes too weak to sustain continuous NADW formation. With Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ice sheets, the density gain over the North Atlantic and the northward salt transport are enhanced with respect to the PI ice sheet case. This enables active NADW formation and a strong AMOC for the entire range of studied CO2 concentrations. The AMOC variability indicates that the simulated AMOC is far away from a stability threshold with LGM ice sheets. The nonlinear relationship among AMOC, CO2, and prescribed ice sheets provides an explanation for the large intermodel spread of AMOC states found in previous coupled LGM simulations.
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2017-04-13
    Description: To investigate the influence of atmospheric model resolution on the representation of daily precipitation extremes, ensemble simulations with the atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM5 at different horizontal (T213 to T31) and vertical (L31 to L19) resolutions and forced with observed sea surface temperatures and sea ice concentrations have been carried out for 01/1982 - 09/2010. All results have been compared with the highest resolution, which has been validated against observations. Resolution affects both the representation of physical processes and the averaging of precipitation across grid boxes. The latter, in particular, smoothes out localized extreme events. These effects have been disentangled by averaging precipitation simulated at the highest resolution to the corresponding coarser grid. Extremes are represented by seasonal maxima, modeled by the generalized extreme value distribution. Effects of averaging and representation of physical processes vary with region and season. In the tropical summer hemisphere, extreme precipitation is reduced by up to 30% due to the averaging effect, and a further 65% owing to a coarser representation of physical processes. Towards mid- to high latitudes, the latter effect reduces to 20%; in the winter hemisphere it vanishes towards the poles. A strong drop is found between T106 and T63 in the convection dominated tropics. At the lowest resolution, northern hemisphere winter precipitation extremes, mainly caused by large scale weather systems, are in general represented reasonably well. Coarser vertical resolution causes an equatorward shift of maximum extreme precipitation in the tropics. The impact of vertical resolution on mean precipitation is less pronounced; for horizontal resolution it is negligible.
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2018-04-16
    Description: Atmospheric deposition contributes potentially significant amounts of the nutrients iron, nitrogen and phosphorus (via mineral dust and anthropogenic aerosols) to the oligotrophic tropical North Atlantic Ocean. Transport pathways, deposition processes and source strengths contributing to this atmospheric flux are all highly variable in space and time. Atmospheric sampling was conducted during 28 research cruises through the Eastern Tropical North Atlantic (ETNA) over a 12 year period and a substantial dataset of measured concentrations of nutrients and trace metals in aerosol and rainfall over the region was acquired. This database was used to quantify (on a spatial- and seasonal-basis) the atmospheric input of ammonium, nitrate, soluble phosphorus and soluble and total iron, aluminium and manganese to the ETNA. The magnitude of atmospheric input varies strongly across the region, with high rainfall rates associated with the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone contributing to high wet deposition fluxes in the south, particularly for soluble species. Dry deposition fluxes of species associated with mineral dust exhibited strong seasonality, with highest fluxes associated with winter-time low-level transport of Saharan dust. Overall (wet plus dry) atmospheric inputs of soluble and total trace metals were used to estimate their soluble fractions. These also varied with season and were generally lower in the dry north than in the wet south. The ratio of ammonium plus nitrate to soluble iron in deposition to the ETNA was lower than the N:Fe requirement for algal growth in all cases, indicating the importance of the atmosphere as a source of excess iron.
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  • 47
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 96 (9). pp. 1561-1564.
    Publication Date: 2015-11-11
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  • 48
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 25 (11). pp. 2532-2546.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-05
    Description: In late austral summer 1991 a cyclonic thermocline eddy was detected in the subtropical western South Atlantic off the Brazilian shelf near the city of Vitória. This Vitória eddy was tracked for 55 days by surface drifters drogued at 100-m depth. The drifters had been deployed in the western boundary current regime by FS Meteor as part of a basinwide surface current study. The analysis of a combined CTD/XBT section across the Vitória eddy, together with drifter data and satellite images of the thermal surface structure revealed the unexpected complexity of the region. The eddy interacted not only with the local topography and the Brazil Current, located farther offshore, but also with an extended upwelling regime north of Cabo Frio. The hydrographic and kinematic properties and anomalies of the Vitóia eddy are analyzed and compared with similar vortices described elsewhere in literature.
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  • 49
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 26 . pp. 1142-1164.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-05
    Description: The authors use different versions of the model of the wind- and thermohaline-driven circulation in the North and Equatorial Atlantic developed under the WOCE Community Modeling Effort to investigate the mean flow pattern and deep-water formation in the subpolar region, and the corresponding structure of the basin-scale meridional overturning circulation transport. A suite of model experiments has been carded out in recent years, differing in horizontal resolution (1° × 1.2°, 1/3° × 0.4°, 1/6° × 0.2°), thermohaline boundary conditions, and parameterization of small-scale mixing. The mass transport in the subpolar gyre and the production of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) appears to be essentially controlled by the outflow of dense water from the Greenland and Norwegian Seas. in the present model simulated by restoring conditions in a buffer zone adjacent to the boundary near the Greenland–Scotland Ridge. Deep winter convection homogenizes the water column in the center of the Labrador Sea to about 2000 m. The water mass properties (potential temperature about 3°C, salinity about 34.9 psu) and the volume (1.1×1053 km3) of the homogenized water are in fair agreement with observations. The convective mixing has only little effect on the net sinking of upper-layer water in the subpolar gyre. Sensitivity experiments show that the export of NADW from the subpolar North Atlantic is more strongly affected by changes in the overflow conditions than by changes in the surface buoyancy fluxes over the Labrador and Irminger Seas, even if these suppress the deep convection completely. The host of sensitivity experiments demonstrates that realistic meridional overturning and heat transport distributions for the North Atlantic (with a maximum of 1 PW) can be obtained with NADW production rates of 15–16 Sv, provided the spurious upwelling of deep water that characterizes many model solutions in the Gulf Stream regime is avoided by adequate horizontal resolution add mixing parameterization.
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  • 50
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 28 . pp. 999-1002.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: New analytical, circular eddy solutions of the nonlinear, reduced-gravity, shallow-water equations in a rotating system are presented. While previous analytical solutions were limited to the description of pulsons, which are oscillating, frontal, warm-core eddies with paraboloidic shape and linear velocity components, the new solutions describe more general radial structures of eddy shape and azimuthal velocity. In particular, the new solutions, which contain as a subset the circular pulson solution, also allow for the description of circular, frontal, warm-core eddies with small azimuthal velocities at their periphery and/or with motionless cores, which are frequently observed characteristics of warm-core eddies in the World Ocean.
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  • 51
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 15 . pp. 380-386.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-04
    Description: A ship rain gauge has been developed that can be used under high wind speeds such as those experienced by ships at sea. The instrument has an improved aerodynamic design and an additional lateral collecting surface, which is effective especially with high wind speeds. The ship rain gauge has been calibrated at sea against a specially designed optical disdrometer. An accuracy of 2%–3% has been obtained for 6-hourly sums. The ship rain gauge has also successfully been tested at a test site of the German Weather Service and presently is used on research vessels and voluntary observing ship.
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  • 52
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 29 (6). pp. 1251-1264.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: A dynamic–thermodynamic sea ice–mixed layer model for the Weddell Sea is complemented by a simple, diagnostic model to account for local sea ice–atmosphere interaction. To consider the atmospheric influence on the oceanic mixed layer, the pycnocline upwelling velocity is calculated using the theory of Ekman pumping. In several experiments, formation and conservation of a polynya in the Weddell Sea are investigated. Intrusion of heat into the lower atmosphere above the polynya area is assumed to cause a thermal perturbation and a cyclonic thermal wind field. Superposed with daily ECMWF surface winds, this modified atmospheric forcing field intensifies oceanic upwelling and induces divergent ice drift. Simulation results indicate that in case of a weak atmospheric cross-polynya flow the formation of a thermal wind field can significantly extend the lifetime of a large polynya. The repeated occurrence of the Weddell polynya in the years 1974–76 thus appears to be an effect of feedback mechanisms between sea ice, atmosphere, and oceanic mixed layer.
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  • 53
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Applied Meteorology, 36 . pp. 919-930.
    Publication Date: 2017-07-03
    Description: A neural network is used to calculate the longwave net radiation (Lnet) at the sea surface from measurements of the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I). The neural network applied in this study is able to account largely for the nonlinearity between Lnet and the satellite-measured brightness temperatures (TB). The algorithm can be applied for instantaneous measurements over oceanic regions with the area extent of satellite passive microwave observations (30–60 km in diameter). Comparing with a linear regression method the neural network reduces the standard error for Lnet from 17 to 5 W m−2 when applied to model results. For clear-sky cases, a good agreement with an error of less than 5 W m−2 for Lnet between calculations from SSM/I observations and pyrgeometer measurements on the German research vessel Poseidon during the International Cirrus Experiment (ICE) 1989 is obtained. For cloudy cases, the comparison is problematic due to the inhomogenities of clouds and the low and different spatial resolutions of the SSM/I data. Global monthly mean values of Lnet for October 1989 are computed and compared to other sources. Differences are observed among the climatological values from previous studies by H.-J. Isemer and L. Hasse, the climatological values from R. Lindau and L. Hasse, the values of W. L. Darnell et al., and results from this study. Some structures of Lnet are similar for results from W. L. Darnell et al. and the present authors. The differences between both results are generally less than 15 W m−2. Over the North Atlantic Ocean the authors found a poleward increase for Lnet, which is contrary to the results of H.-J. Isemer and L. Hasse.
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  • 54
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 10 (11). pp. 2711-2724.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-24
    Description: Parameterization of turbulent wind stress and sensible and latent heat fluxes is reviewed in the context of climate studies and model calculations, and specific formulas based on local measurements are recommended. Wind speed is of key importance, and in applying experimental results, the differences between local and modeled winds must be considered in terms of their method of observation or calculation. Climatological wind data based on Beaufort wind force reports require correction for historical trends. Integrated long-term net turbulent and radiative heat fluxes at the sea surface, calculated from archived data, are consistent with meridional heat transport through oceanographic sections; this lends support to the methods used
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  • 55
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 55 (17). pp. 2874-2883.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-16
    Description: The roles of ice particle size distributions (SDs) and particle shapes in cirrus cloud solar radiative transfer are investigated by analyzing SDs obtained from optical array probe measurements (particle sizes larger than 20–40 μm) during intensive field observations of the International Cirrus Experiment, the European Cloud and Radiation Experiment, the First ISCCP Regional Experiment, and the Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment. It is found that the cloud volume extinction coefficient is more strongly correlated with the total number density than with the effective particle size. Distribution-averaged mean single scattering properties are calculated for hexagonal columns, hexagonal plates, and polycrystals at a nonabsorbing (0.5 μm), moderately absorbing (1.6 μm), and strongly absorbing (3.0 μm) wavelength. At 0.5 μm (1.6 μm) (3.0 μm), the spread in the resulting mean asymmetry parameters due to different SDs is smaller than (comparable to) (smaller than) the difference caused by applying different particle shapes to these distributions. From a broadband solar radiative transfer point of view it appears more important to use the correct particle shapes than to average over the correct size distributions.
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  • 56
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Applied Meteorology, 37 (8). pp. 832-844.
    Publication Date: 2017-07-03
    Description: A neural network (NN) has been developed in order to retrieve the cloud liquid water path (LWP) over the oceans from Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) data. The retrieval with NNs depends crucially on the SSM/I channels used as input and the number of hidden neurons—that is, the NN architecture. Three different combinations of the seven SSM/I channels have been tested. For all three methods an NN with five hidden neurons yields the best results. The NN-based LWP algorithms for SSM/I observations are intercompared with a standard regression algorithm. The calibration and validation of the retrieval algorithms are based on 2060 radiosonde observations over the global ocean. For each radiosonde profile the LWP is parameterized and the brightness temperatures (Tb’s) are simulated using a radiative transfer model. The best LWP algorithm (all SSM/I channels except T85V) shows a theoretical error of 0.009 kg m−2 for LWPs up to 2.8 kg m−2 and theoretical “clear-sky noise” (0.002 kg m−2), which has been reduced relative to the regression algorithm (0.031 kg m−2). Additionally, this new algorithm avoids the estimate of negative LWPs. An indirect validation and intercomparison is presented that is based upon SSM/I measurements (F-10) under clear-sky conditions, classified with independent IR-Meteosat data. The NN-based algorithms outperform the regression algorithm. The best LWP algorithm shows a clear-sky standard deviation of 0.006 kg m−2, a bias of 0.001 kg m−2, nonnegative LWPs, and no correlation with total precipitable water. The estimated accuracy for SSM/I observations and two of the proposed new LWP algorithms is 0.023 kg m−2 for LWP ⩽ 0.5 kg m−2.
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  • 57
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 29 . pp. 2303-2317.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: A primitive equation model to study the dynamics of the Agulhas system has been developed. The model domain covers the South Atlantic and the south Indian Ocean with a resolution of ⅓° in the Agulhas region while coarser outside. It is driven by a climatology of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. It is shown that the model simulates the Agulhas Current, its retroflection, and the ring shedding successfully. The model results show baroclinic anticyclonic eddies in the Mozambique Channel and east of Madagascar, which travel toward the northern Agulhas Current. After the eddies reach the current they are advected southward with the mean flow. Due to the limited numerical resolution only a few eddies reach the retroflection region without much modification. These eddies are responsible for drastic enhancement of the heat transfer from the Indian Ocean to the South Atlantic and lead to periodicities in the interoceanic heat transport of about 50 days superimposed on the seasonal variability. Combined satellite data from TOPEX/Poseidon and ERS-1 show that the observed vortices in the Mozambique Channel are comparable to those seen in the model. In contrast to this the simulated eddies east of Madagascar seem not to be well reproduced. Analyses of the energy conversion terms between the mean flow and the eddies suggest that barotropic instability plays an important role in the generation of Mozambique Channel eddies. For the generation of Agulhas rings and other eddy structures in the model the barotropic instability mechanism seems to be minor, and baroclinic instability mechanisms are more likely.
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  • 58
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 11 (3). pp. 297-312.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-24
    Description: In this study, a hybrid coupled model (HCM) is used to investigate the physics of decadal variability in the North Pacific. This aids in an understanding of the inherent properties of the coupled ocean–atmosphere system in the absence of stochastic forcing by noncoupled variability. It is shown that the HCM simulates a self-sustained decadal oscillation with a period of about 20 yr, similar to that found in both the observations and coupled GCMs. Sensitivity experiments are carried out to determine the relative importance of wind stresses, net surface heat flux, and freshwater flux on the initiation and maintenance of the decadal oscillation in the North Pacific. It is found that decadal variability is a mode of the coupled system and involves interaction of sea surface temperature, upper-ocean heat content, and wind stress. This interaction is mainly controlled by the wind stress but can be strongly modified by the surface heat flux. The effect of the salinity is relatively small and is not necessary to generate the model decadal oscillation in the North Pacific. There are some limitations with this study. First, the effect of a stochastic forcing is not included. Second, a weak negative feedback is needed to run the control experiment for a longer time period. These two areas will be addressed in a future investigation.
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  • 59
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 76 (1). pp. 5-11.
    Publication Date: 2019-01-21
    Description: Widespread and sustained in situ ocean measurements are essential to an improved understanding of the state of the ocean and its role in global change. Merchant marine vessels can play a major role in ocean monitoring, yet apart from routine weather observations and upper-ocean temperature measurements, they constitute a vastly underutilized resource due to lack of suitable instrumentation. Examples of ways in which vessels can assist include profiling techniques of physical properties, chemical sampling via automated water samplers, optical techniques to measure various biological parameters, and ground truth measurements for remote sensing from orbiting and geostationary satellites. Further, ships can act as relays between subsurface instrumentation and satellite communication services. To take advantage of the opportunities that the maritime industry can provide, two steps must be taken. The first is to initiate an instrumentation development program with emphasis on techniques optimized for highly automated use onboard ships at 15-20-kt speeds. The second is to forge partnerships or links between academic and government laboratories and the maritime industry for the institution and maintenance of such monitoring programs. No doubt significant resources will be required, but in the long run the improved ability to monitor the state of ocean in situ will make the effort more than worthwhile.
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  • 60
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 25 (8). pp. 1771-1787.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-05
    Description: The Cape Verde Frontal Zone separates the North and the South Atlantic Central Waters in the eastern North Atlantic. It also represents the boundary between the ventilated subtropical gyre and the quasi-stagnant shadow zone in the southeast. The thermohaline front is nearly compensated with respect to density, and density parameters RP, suggest the existence of double-diffusive processes. Datasets from three cruises to the region, approximately one year apart each, are used to determine the effects of double-diffusive diapycnal versus isopycnal mixing. For this purpose results from the usual temperature-salinity analysis assuming isopycnal mixing are compared to results from a multiparameter analysis where nutrient and oxygen data are also used. Significant diapycnal fluxes are found in the frontal zone between 200 and 300 m, with water mass contents being changed by more than 20% through diapycnal mixing. The associated buoyancy fluxes have a similar magnitude as surface fluxes in the area and thus represent an important contribution to the vertical balances of heat and salt.
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  • 61
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 26 . pp. 2251-2266.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: A simple point-vortex “heton” model is used to study localized ocean convection. In particular, the statistically steady state that is established when lateral buoyancy transfer, effected by baroclinic instability, offsets the localized surface buoyancy loss is investigated. Properties of the steady state, such as the statistically steady density anomaly of the convection region, are predicted using the hypothesis of a balance between baroclinic eddy transfer and the localized surface buoyancy loss. These predictions compare favorably with the values obtained through numerical integration of the heton model. The steady state of the heron model can be related to that in other convection scenarios considered in several recent studies by means of a generalized description of the localized convection. This leads to predictions of the equilibrium density anomalies in these scenarios, which concur with those obtained by other authors. Advantages of the heton model include its inviscid nature, emphasizing the independence of the fluxes affected by the baroclinic eddies from molecular processes, and its extreme economy, allowing a very large parameter space to be covered. This economy allows us to examine more complicated forcing scenarios: for example, forcing regions of varying shape. By increasing the ellipticity of the forcing region, the instability is modified by the shape and, as a result, no increase in lateral fluxes occurs despite the increased perimeter length. The parameterization of convective mixing by a redistribution of potential vorticity, implicit in the heton model, is corroborated; the heton model equilibrium state has analogous quantitative scaling behavior to that in models or laboratory experiments that resolve the vertical motions. The simplified dynamics of the heton model therefore allows the adiabatic advection resulting from baroclinic instability to be examined in isolation from vertical mixing and diffusive processes. These results demonstrate the importance of baroclinic instability in controlling the properties of a water mass generated by localized ocean convection. A complete parameterization of this process must therefore account for the fluxes induced by horizontal variations in surface buoyancy loss and affected by baroclinic instability.
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  • 62
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 26(10) . pp. 2281-2285.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-05
    Description: The compatibility of the Gent and McWilliams thickness mixing parameterization with perturbation thickness fluxes evaluated from eddy-resolving North Atlantic model results is investigated. After extensive spatial and temporal averaging, a linear correlation between the parameterized fluxes and those calculated directly from model fluctuations in the subtropics could be found. A direct estimate of a constant mixing parameter κ could be inferred in the order of 1.0 × 107 cm2 s−1.
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  • 63
    Publication Date: 2017-07-20
    Description: Many models of the large-scale thermohaline circulation in the ocean exhibit strong zonally integrated upwelling in the midlatitude North Atlantic that significantly decreases the amount of deep water that is carried from the formation regions in the subpolar North Atlantic toward low latitudes and across the equator. In an analysis of results from the Community Modeling Effort using a suite of models with different horizontal resolution, wind and thermohaline forcing, and mixing parameters, it is shown that the upwelling is always concentrated in the western boundary layer between roughly 30° and 40°N. The vertical transport across 1000 m appears to be controlled by local dynamics and strongly depends on the horizontal resolution and mixing parameters of the model. It is suggested that in models with a realistic deep-water formation rate in the subpolar North Atlantic, the excessive upwelling can be considered as the prime reason for the typically too low meridional overturning rates and northward heat transports in the subtropical North Atlantic. A new isopycnal advection and mixing parameterization of tracer transports by mesoscale eddies yield substantial improvements in these integral measures of the circulation.
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  • 64
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 29 (11). pp. 2785-2801.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: The Rio Grande Rise acts as a natural barrier for the equatorward flow of Antarctic Bottom Water in the subtropical South Atlantic. In addition to the Vema Channel, the Hunter Channel cuts through this obstacle and offers a separate route for bottom-water import into the southern Brazil Basin. On the occasion of the Deep Basin Experiment, a component of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE), the expected deep flow through the Hunter Channel was directly observed for the first time by an array of moored current meters and thermistor chains from December 1992 to May 1994. Main results are (i) the Hunter Channel is, in fact, a conduit for bottom-water flow into the Brazil Basin. Our new mean transport from moored current meters [2.92 (±1.24) × 106 m3 s−1] is significantly higher than earlier estimates that were based on geostrophic calculations. (ii) During the WOCE observational period a tendency toward increased bottom-water temperatures was observed. This observation from the Hunter Channel is consistent with findings from the Vema Channel. (iii) The overflow through the Hunter Channel is highly variable and puts in perspective earlier synoptic geostrophic transport estimates
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  • 65
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: During December 1991 to April 1992 measurements with moored acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) stations and shipboard surveys were carried out in the convection regime of the Gulf of Lions, northwestern Mediterranean. First significant mixed layer deepening and generation of internal waves in the stratified intermediate layer occurred during a mistral cooling phase in late December. Mixed layer deepening to about 400 m, eroding the salinity maximum layer of saltier and warmer Levantine Intermediate Water and causing temporary surface-layer warming, followed during a second cooling period of late January. During a mistral cooling period from 18 to 23 February 1992, convection to 1500-m depth was observed, where the size of the convection regime was 50–100 km extent. Vertical velocities 40–640 m deep, recorded by four ADCPs of a triangular moored array of 2 km sidelength in the center of the convection regime, exceeded 5 cm s−1 and were not correlated over the separation of the moorings. Horizontal scales estimated from event duration and advection velocity were only around 500 m, in agreement with scaling arguments for convective plumes. Plume activity during nighttime cooling was larger than daytime daytime. Significant evidence for rotation of the plumes could not be found. Overall, plume energy, and the degree of mixing accomplished by them, was much lower than observed during a stronger mistral in February 1987. The mean vertical velocity over the mistral period, determined from the four ADCPs, was near zero, confirming the role of plumes as mixing agents rather than as part of a mean downdraft in a convection regime. The cyclonic rim current around the convection regime was confined to a strip of 〈20 km width with an average velocity of about 10 cm s−1, which is in agreement with near-zero vertical mean velocity in the interior based on potential vorticity conservation. A relation between variations of the larger-scale cyclonic North Mediterranean Current along the boundary and the deep convection could not be identified. An unexplained feature still is the cover of the convection regime by a shallow layer of light water that moves in rather quickly from the sides after the cooling ends.
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  • 66
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 26 . pp. 1721-1734.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-05
    Description: An initially resting ocean of stratification N is considered, subject to buoyancy loss at its surface of magnitude B0 over a circular region of radius r, at a latitude where the Coriolis parameter is f. Initially the buoyancy loss gives rise to upright convection as an ensemble of plumes penetrates the stratified ocean creating a vertically mixed layer. However, as deepening proceeds, horizontal density gradients at the edge of the forcing region support a geostrophic rim current, which develops growing meanders through baroclinic instability. Eventually finite-amplitude baroclinic eddies sweep stratified water into the convective region at the surface and transport convected water outward and away below, setting up a steady state in which lateral buoyancy flux offsets buoyancy loss at the surface. In this final state quasi-horizontal baroclinic eddy transfer dominates upright “plume” convection. By using “parcel theory” to consider the energy transformations taking place, it is shown that the depth, hfinal at which deepening by convective plumes is arrested by lateral buoyancy flux due to baroclinic eddies, and the time tfinal it takes to reach this depth, is given by both independent of rotation. Here γ and β are dimensionless constants that depend on the efficiency of baroclinic eddy transfer. A number of laboratory and numerical experiments are then inspected and carried out to seek confirmation of these parameter dependencies and obtain quantitative estimates of the constants. It is found that γ = 3.9 ± 0.9 and β = 12 ± 3. Finally, the implications of our study to the understanding of integral properties of deep and intermediate convection in the ocean are discussed.
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  • 67
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 28 . pp. 1410-1424.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: In the Gulf of Lions, observations of deep convection have been sporadically carried out over the past three decades, showing significant interannual variability of convection activity. As long time series of meteorological observations of the region are available from coastal stations, heat flux time series for the Gulf of Lions for the individual winters from 1969 to 1994 are derived by calibrating these observations against direct measurements obtained over the convection site. These heat fluxes are also compared against heat fluxes obtained by the French PERIDOT weather model for the winter of 1991/92. A Kraus–Turner one-dimensional mixed layer model is initialized by climatological mean temperature and salinity profiles and then driven by the heat flux time series of the individual years. Resulting convection depths are in satisfactory agreement with existing observational evidence, showing the dominance of interannual variability of local forcing on convection variability. The interannual variability of convection depth causes interannual variations in deep-water properties, and these are also compared with the hydrographic database.
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  • 68
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 25 . pp. 289-305.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-05
    Description: This paper describes, and establishes the dynamical mechanisms responsible for, the large-scale, time-mean, midlatitude circulation in a high-resolution model of the North Atlantic basin. The model solution is compared with recently proposed transport schemes and interpretations of the dynamical balances operating in the sub-tropical gyre. In particular, the question of the degree to which Sverdrup balance holds for the subtropical gyre is addressed. At 25°N, thermohaline-driven bottom flows cause strong local departures from the Sverdrup solution for the vertically integrated meridional mass transport, but these nearly integrate to zero across the interior of the basin. In the northwestern region of the subtropical gyre, in the vicinity of the Gulf Stream, higher-order dynamics become important, and linear vorticity dynamics is unable to explain the model's vertically integrated transport. In the subpolar gyre, the model transport bears little resemblance to the Sverdrup prediction, and higher-order dynamics are important across the entire longitudinal extent of the basin. The sensitivity of the model transport amplitudes, patterns, and dynamical balances are estimated by examining the solutions under a range of parameter choices and for four different wind stress forcing specifications. Taking into account a deficit of 7–10 Sv (Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) in the contribution of the model thermohaline circulation to the meridional transports at 25°N, the wind stress climatology of Isemer and Hasse appears to yield too strong of a circulation, while that derived from the NCAR Community Climate Model yields too weak of a circulation. The Hellerman and Rosenstein and ECMWF climatologies result in wind-driven transports close to observational estimates at 25°N. The range between cases for the annual mean southward transport in the interior above 1000 m is 14 Sv, which is 40%–70% of the mean transport itself. There is little sensitivity to the model closure parameters at this latitude. At 55°N, in the subpolar gyre, there is little sensitivity of the model solution to the choice of either closure parameters or wind climatology, despite large differences in the Sverdrup transports implied by the different wind stress datasets. Large year to year variability of the meridional transport east of the Bahamas makes it difficult to provide robust estimates of the sensitivity of the Antilles and deep western boundary current systems to forcing and parameter changes.
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  • 69
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 29 . pp. 2065-2098.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: A 12-month mooring record (May 1994–June 1995), together with accompanying PALACE float data, is used to describe an annual cycle of deep convection and restratification in the Labrador Sea. The mooring is located at 56.75°N, 52.5°W, near the former site of Ocean Weather Station Bravo, in water of 3500 m depth. This is a pilot experiment for climate monitoring, and also for studies of deep-convection dynamics. Mooring measurements include temperature (T), salinity (S), horizontal and vertical velocity, and acoustic measurement of surface winds. The floats made weekly temperature–salinity profiles between their drift level (near 1500 m) and the surface. With moderately strong cooling to the atmosphere (300 W m−2 averaged from November to March), wintertime convection penetrated from the surface to about 1750 m, overcoming the stabilizing effect of upper-ocean low-salinity water. The water column restratifies rapidly after brief vertical homogenization (in potential density, salinity, and potential temperature). Both the rapid restratification and the energetic high-frequency variations of T and S observed at the mooring are suggestive of a convection depth that varies greatly with location. Lateral variations in T and S exist down to very small scales, and these remnants of convection decay (with e-folding time 170 day) after convection ceases. Lateral variability at the scale of 100 km is verified by PALACE profiles. The Eulerian mooring effectively samples the convection in a mesoscale region of ocean as eddies sweep past it; the Lagrangian PALACE floats are complementary in sampling the geography of deep convection more widely. This laterally variable convection leaves the water column with significant vertical gradients most of the year. Convection followed by lateral mixing gives vertical salinity profiles the (misleading) appearance that a one-dimensional diffusive process is fluxing freshwater downward. During spring, summer, and fall the salinity, temperature, and buoyancy rise steadily with time throughout most of the water column. This is likely the result of mixing with the encircling boundary currents, compensating for the escape of Labrador Sea Water from the region. Low-salinity water mixes into the gyre only near the surface. The water-column heat balance is in satisfactory agreement with meteorological assimilation models. Directly observed subsurface calorimetry may be the more reliable indication of the annual-mean air–sea heat flux. Acoustic instrumentation on the mooring gave a surprisingly good time series of the vector surface wind. The three-dimensional velocity field consists of convective plumes of width 200 to 1000 m, vertical velocities of 2 to 8 cm s−1, and Rossby numbers of order unity, embedded in stronger (20 cm s−1) lateral currents associated with mesoscale eddies. Horizontal currents with timescales of several days to several months are strongly barotropic. They are suddenly energized as convection reaches great depth in early March, and develop toward a barotropic state, as also seen in models of convectively driven geostrophic turbulence in a weakly stratified, high-latitude ocean. Currents decay through the summer and autumn, apart from some persistent isolated eddies. These coherent, isolated, cold anticyclones carry cores of pure convected water long after the end of winter. Boundary currents nearby interact with the Labrador Sea gyre and provide an additional source of eddies in the interior Labrador Sea. An earlier study of the pulsation of the boundary currents is supported by observations of sudden ejection of floats from the central gyre into the boundary currents (and sudden ingestion of boundary current floats into the gyre interior), in what may be a mechanism for exchange between Labrador Sea Water and the World Ocean.
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  • 70
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 12 (1). pp. 141-149.
    Publication Date: 2018-06-01
    Description: Surface data obtained from 153-kHz acoustic Doppler current profilers deployed in the Greenland Sea at about 350-m depth during the winter of 1988/89 were investigated under several aspects. First a method is described to improve the instrument depth measurements using the binned backscattered energy profile near the surface. The accuracy of the depth estimates is found to be significantly better than 0.5 m. Further, improvements of wind speed estimates were found by using the ambient noise in the 150-kHz band in favor of the surface backscattered energy as suggested by Schott. Limitations of the ambient sound method at low wind speeds are presented when thermal noise overwhelms the wind-induced noise. Finally, a method to detect the presence of sea ice above the ADCP is presented by cross correlating the surface backscatter strength and the magnitudes of all Doppler velocity components. The resulting time series of ice concentration are in overall good agreement with Special Sensor Microwave/Imager estimates but allow for higher temporal resolution. Further, in the vicinity of the ice edge, enhanced high-frequency ambient noise in the 150-kHz band was observed.
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  • 71
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 29 . pp. 1682-1700.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: Different processes have been proposed to explain the large-scale spreading of Mediterranean Water (MW) in the North Atlantic, however, no systematic study comparing the efficiency of different processes is yet available. Here, the authors present a series of experiments in a unified framework that is designed to quantify the effects of several physical processes on the spreading of MW in an idealized model of the North Atlantic. The common technique of restoring temperature and salinity to an observed distribution near the Mediterranean inflow fails to produce an adequate amount of MW because the eastern boundary region near the MW inflow is rather quiescent in models. Diapycnal processes like double diffusion and cabbeling turn out too inefficient to alone account for the large-scale MW anomaly. However, with a preexisting anomaly, double diffusion leads to a considerable northward and zonal redistribution of MW. The density anomaly induced by cabbeling curtails the zonal spreading of MW while it increases the northward spreading. With isopycnal mixing and the weak mean flow that prevails in the outflow region, a spatial distribution of the MW anomaly is obtained that is inconsistent with observations. Unrealistically high diffusion coefficients would be necessary to reproduce the observed salt flux into the Atlantic. The most effective process in the experiments is the volume flux associated with the Atlantic–Mediterranean exchange. The current system that is established in response to the inflow of MW into the Atlantic carries the anomaly almost 30° of longitude into the basin and along the eastern margin up to the northeastern corner of the domain and farther along the northern boundary.
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  • 72
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Climate, 10 . pp. 1153-1172.
    Publication Date: 2018-07-24
    Description: Long-term interannual variations of the intramonthly standard deviations of surface meteorological parameters are studied on the basis of the North Atlantic Ocean Weather Stations (OWSs) dataset. To consider the different scales of short-term synoptic variability, intramonthly statistics were calculated for 3-h sampled data and for running-mean data as well. Year-to-year variability is considered in terms of linear trends and interannual oscillations with characteristic periods of several years. Intramonthly standard deviations for most of the parameters tended to decrease during the OWS observational period. Trends in the parameters for different synoptic-scale statistics are discussed. Intramonthly statistics, computed for different averaging scales, demonstrate remarkably different short-period year to year oscillations. Some relationships between the interannual variations of synoptic activity and the SST anomalies are presented. Intramonthly statistics are found to be an effective indicator of the North Atlantic Oscillation. Finally, the possibility of applying results to statistics computed from climatological datasets and analyses of meteorological centers is discussed.
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  • 73
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 28 (10). pp. 1904-1928.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: The mean warm water transfer toward the equator along the western boundary of the South Atlantic is investigated, based on a number of ship surveys carried out during 1990–96 with CTD water mass observations and current profiling by shipboard and lowered (with the CTD/rosette) acoustic Doppler current profiler and with Pegasus current profiler. The bulk of the northward warm water flow follows the coast in the North Brazil Undercurrent (NBUC) from latitudes south of 10°S, carrying 23 Sv (Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1) above 1000 m. Out of this, 16 Sv are waters warmer than 7°C that form the source waters of the Florida Current. Zonal inflow from the east by the South Equatorial Current enters the western boundary system dominantly north of 5°S, adding transport northwest of Cape San Roque, and transforming the NBUC along its way toward the equator into a surface-intensified current, the North Brazil Current (NBC). From the combination of moored arrays and shipboard sections just north of the equator along 44°W, the mean NBC transport was determined at 35 Sv with a small seasonal cycle amplitude of only about 3 Sv. The reason for the much larger near-equatorial northward warm water boundary current than what would be required to carry the northward heat transport are recirculations by the zonal current system and the existence of the shallow South Atlantic tropical–subtropical cell (STC). The STC connects the subduction zones of the eastern subtropics of both hemispheres via equatorward boundary undercurrents with the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC), and the return flow is through upwelling and poleward Ekman transport. The persistent existence of a set of eastward thermocline and intermediate countercurrents on both sides of the equator was confirmed that recurred throughout the observations and carry ventilated waters from the boundary regime into the tropical interior. A strong westward current underneath the EUC, the Equatorial Intermediate Current, returns low-oxygen water westward. Consistent evidence for the existence of a seasonal variation in the warm water flow south of the equator could not be established, whereas significant seasonal variability of the boundary regime occurs north of the equator: northwestward alongshore throughflow of about 10 Sv of waters with properties from the Southern Hemisphere was found along the Guiana boundary in boreal spring when the North Equatorial Countercurrent is absent or even flowing westward, whereas during June–January the upper NBC is known to connect with the eastward North Equatorial Countercurrent through a retroflection zone that seasonally migrates up and down the coast and spawns eddies. The equatorial zone thus acts as a buffer and transformation zone for cross-equatorial exchanges, but knowledge of the detailed pathways in the interior including the involved diapycnal exchanges is still a problem.