Roles of SST anomalies on the wintertime turbulent heat fluxes in the kuroshio-oyashio confluence region: Influences of warm eddies detached from the kuroshio extension

Shusaku Sugimoto, Kimio Hanawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Variations of turbulent heat fluxes (sum of sensible and latent heat fluxes) in the North Pacific during 16 winters from December 1992/February 1993 to December 2007/February 2008 are investigated because the months from December to February correspond to the period having peak winter conditions in the atmosphere field. Turbulent heat fluxes are calculated from the 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 flux (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 turbulent heat fluxes over the Kuroshio-Oyashio Confluence Region (KOCR; 142°- 150°E, 35°-40°N) have the largest temporal variances in the North Pacific. The relative contributions among observed variables in SST, surface air temperature, and surface wind speed causing turbulent heat flux variations in the KOCR are assessed quantitatively by performing simple experiments using combinations of two types of variables: raw daily data and daily climatological data. Results show that SST is primarily responsible for the turbulent heat flux variations-a huge amount of heat is released in the state of the positive SST anomaly. Using the datasets of satellite-derived SST and sea surface height with high spatial and temporal resolutions, it is found that the SST anomalies in the KOCR are formed through activities of the anticyclonic (warm) eddies detached northward from the Kuroshio Extension; SSTs take positive (negative) anomalies when more (less) anticyclonic eddies are distributed there, associated with a more convoluted (straight) Kuroshio Extension path.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6551-6561
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume24
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec 1

Keywords

  • Eddies
  • Fluxes
  • Sea surface temperature
  • Turbulence
  • Winter/cool season

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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