Delayed baroclinic response of the Antarctic circumpolar current to surface wind stress
Huang, Rui Xin
Wang, Dong Xiao
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KeywordAntarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC); Zonal windstress; Baroclinic instability; Mesoscale eddy
Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) responds to the surface windstress via two processes, i.e., instant barotropic process and delayed baroclinic process. This study focuses on the baroclinic instability mechanism in ACC. That is, the strengthening of surface zonal windstress causes the enhanced tilting of the isopycnal surface, which leads to the intense baroclinic instability. Simultaneously, the mesoscale eddies resulting from the baroclinic instability facilitate the transformation of mean potential energy to eddy energy, which causes the remarkable decrease of the ACC volume transport with the 2-year lag time. This delayed negative correlation between the ACC transport and the zonal windstress may account for the steadiness of the ACC transport in these two decades.
Author Posting. © Science in China Press, 2008. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Springer for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences 51 (2008): 1036-1043, doi:10.1007/s11430-008-0074-8.
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