Coupled atmosphere–mixed layer ocean response to ocean heat flux convergence along the Kuroshio Current Extension
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The winter response of the coupled atmosphere-ocean mixed layer system to anomalous geostrophic ocean heat flux convergence in the Kuroshio Extension is investigated by means of experiments with an atmospheric general circulation model coupled to an entraining ocean mixed layer model in the extra-tropics. The direct response consists of positive SST anomalies along the Kuroshio Extension and a baroclinic (low-level trough and upper-level ridge) circulation anomaly over the North Pacific. The low-level component of this atmospheric circulation response is weaker in the case without coupling to an extratropical ocean mixed layer, especially in late winter. The inclusion of an interactive mixed layer in the tropics modifies the direct coupled atmospheric response due to a northward displacement of the Pacific Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone which drives an equivalent barotropic anomalous ridge over the North Pacific. Although the tropically-driven component of the North Pacific atmospheric circulation response is comparable to the direct response in terms of sea level pressure amplitude, it is less important in terms of wind stress curl amplitude due to the mitigating effect of the relatively broad spatial scale of the tropically-forced atmospheric teleconnection.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2010. 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 Climate Dynamics 36 (2011): 2295-2312, doi:10.1007/s00382-010-0764-8.
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