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Eddy-advective effects on the temperature and wind speed of the sea surface in the Northwest Pacific Subtropical Countercurrent area from satellite observations

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In this study, satellite microwave and altimeter data from 1998 to 2007 are used to quantify the eddy-induced meridional heat advection (EMHA) in the Northwest Pacific Subtropical Countercurrent area. Generally, from March to May, the robust EMHA is formed at the point where meridional currents of eddies cross a zonal front of climatological background sea surface temperature (SST). The EMHA shifts westwards with eddies and varies seasonally with the SST front. It warms (cools) the sea surface west of anticyclonic (cyclonic) eddies, inducing noticeable SST anomalies (SSTAs), which are westwardly phase shifted from the eddy-induced sea surface height anomalies by about 90°. Surface wind subsequently varies with the induced SSTAs: it blows faster (slower) over the warm (cold) SST regions than the surroundings. The spatial variations of SST and sea surface wind due to the EMHA shift westwards with eddy motion. These findings from satellite observations give us the possibility of studying the role of oceanic eddies in ocean–atmosphere interaction at the timescale of weather systems in an open ocean.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Physical Oceanography Laboratory & Ocean–Atmosphere Interaction and Climate Laboratory,Ocean University of China, Qingdao,266100, China

Publication date: January 20, 2013

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