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ArticleCharacterization of sea surface temperature and air-sea heat flux anomalies associated with mesoscale eddies in the South China Sea(American Geophysical Union, 2020-03-16) Liu, Yingjie ; Yu, Lisan ; Chen, GeThis study is to quantify the effects of mesoscale eddies on air‐sea heat fluxes and related air‐sea variables in the South China Sea. Using satellite observations of sea surface temperature (SST) and sea surface height anomaly and a high‐resolution air‐sea heat flux product for the 16‐year period from 2000 to 2015, we conducted the composite patterns of air‐sea fluxes and variables associated with anticyclonic eddies (AEs) and cyclonic eddies (CEs). It is found that the SST‐sea surface height correlations over eddies are not always positive. Only 56% of AEs are corresponded with positive SST anomalies (SSTA), that is, SST+ AEs, and 58% of CEs with negative SSTA, that is, SST− CEs. The percentage of these eddies increases with eddy amplitude and shows slight seasonal variations, higher in winter and lower in summer. Composites of SSTA, air‐sea variables, and fluxes are constructed over all eddies, including both SST+ eddies and SST− eddies. All composites show asymmetric patterns, showing that the centers (where the extrema are located) of the fluxes and variables shift westward and poleward (equatorward) relative to the AEs (CEs) cores. Besides, composites of latent heat flux (LHF), sensible heat flux (SHF), and air temperature show monopole patterns, while composites of wind speed and specific humidity show dipole patterns. For SST+ AEs, the coupling strength is 39.6 ± 6.5 W/m2 (7.2 ± 1.7 W/m2) per degree increase of SSTA for LHF (SHF). For SST− CEs, the coupling strength is 39.0 ± 2.0 W/m2 (9.0 ± 0.96 W/m2) per degree decrease of SSTA for LHF (SHF).