Diagnosing the warming of the Northeastern U.S. Coastal Ocean in 2012 : a linkage between the atmospheric jet stream variability and ocean response
Gawarkiewicz, Glen G.
Lentz, Steven J.
Bane, John M.
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The temperature in the coastal ocean off the northeastern U.S. during the first half of 2012 was anomalously warm, and this resulted in major impacts on the marine ecosystem and commercial fisheries. Understanding the spatiotemporal characteristics of the warming and its underlying dynamical processes is important for improving ecosystem management. Here, we show that the warming in the first half of 2012 was systematic from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras. Moreover, the warm anomalies extended through the water column, and the local temperature change of shelf water in the Middle Atlantic Bight was largely balanced by the atmospheric heat flux. The anomalous atmospheric jet stream position induced smaller heat loss from the ocean and caused a much slower cooling rate in late autumn and early winter of 2011–2012. Strong jet stream intraseasonal oscillations in the first half of 2012 systematically increased the warm anomalies over the continental shelf. Despite the importance of advection in prior northeastern U.S. continental shelf interannual temperature anomalies, our analyses show that much of the 2012 warming event was attributed to local warming from the atmosphere.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 119 (2014): 218–227, doi:10.1002/2013JC009393.
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