The summer heat balance of the Oregon inner shelf over two decades: mean and interannual variability

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Lemagie, Emily
Kirincich, Anthony R.
Lentz, Steven J.
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Inner shelf
Heat budget
Oregon coast
Summer temperature and velocity measurements from 14 years in 15 m of water over the inner shelf off Oregon were used to investigate interannual temperature variability and the capacity of the across‐shelf heat flux to buffer net surface warming. There was no observable trend in summer mean temperatures, and the standard deviation of interannual variability (0.5°C) was less than the standard deviation in daily temperatures each summer (1.6°C, on average). Yet net surface heat flux provided a nearly constant source of heat each year, with a standard deviation less than 15 urn:x-wiley:jgrc:media:jgrc23812:jgrc23812-math-0001 of the interannual mean. The summer mean across‐shelf upwelling circulation advected warmer water offshore near the surface, cooling the inner shelf and buffering the surface warming. In most years (11 out of 14), this two‐dimensional heat budget roughly closed with a residual less than 20 urn:x-wiley:jgrc:media:jgrc23812:jgrc23812-math-0002 of the leading term. Even in years when the heat budget did not balance, the observed temperature change was negligible, indicating that an additional source of cooling was needed to close the budget. A comparison of the residual to the interannual variability in fields such as along‐shelf wind stress, stratification, and along‐shelf currents found no significant correlation, and further investigation into the intraseasonal dynamics is recommended to explain the results. An improved understanding of the processes that contribute to warming or cooling of the coastal ocean has the potential to improve predictions of the impact of year‐to‐year changes in local winds and circulation, such as from marine heat waves or climate change, on coastal temperatures.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2020. 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 125(2), (2020): e2019JC015856, doi:10.1029/2019JC015856.
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Lemagie, E., Kirincich, A., & Lentz, S. (2020). The summer heat balance of the Oregon inner shelf over two decades: mean and interannual variability. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 125(2), e2019JC015856.
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