Influence of SST anomalies on winter turbulent heat fluxes in the eastern Kuroshio-Oyashio confluence region

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Abstract

Variations in the turbulent heat flux (THF; the sum of the sensible and latent heat fluxes) in the eastern Kuroshio-Oyashio confluence region (EKOCR; 36°-40°N, 155°-160°E) were investigated over a period of 27 consecutive winters (December-February) from 1985/86 to 2011/12. The THF was calculated from a bulk formula using daily variables [surface wind speed, surface air specific humidity, surface air temperature, and sea surface temperature (SST)] of the objectively analyzed air-sea fluxes (OAFlux) dataset and bulk coefficients based on the Tropical Ocean and Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE) bulk flux algorithm 3.0. The winter THF over the EKOCR showed lowfrequency variations, with larger THF values in the early 2000s and smaller values in the late 1990s and late 2000s. The heat release in the early 2000s was up to ~40% greater than that in the late 1990s and late 2000s. By performing experiments using combinations of daily raw data values and daily climatological data, the relative contributions of SST, surface air specific humidity, surface air temperature, and surface wind speed were quantitatively assessed in determining the THF over the EKOCR. Results showed that SST predominantly determines the THF: large amounts of heat are released during times of positive SST anomalies. By using Argo float (temperature-salinity) profiles of 2003-12 and a satellite altimetry dataset of 1992-2012, it was found that the warm-salty water transported by an occurrence of the Kuroshio bifurcation was responsible for the generation of positive SST anomalies in the EKOCR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9349-9358
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume27
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Atmosphere-ocean interaction
  • Heat budgets/fluxes
  • Interannual variability
  • North Pacific Ocean
  • Ocean circulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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