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Dynamics of global ocean heat transport variability

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dc.contributor.author Jayne, Steven R.
dc.coverage.spatial Antarctic Circumpolar Current
dc.date.accessioned 2011-07-20T20:18:44Z
dc.date.available 2011-07-20T20:18:44Z
dc.date.issued 1999-02
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1912/4705
dc.description Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution February 1999 en_US
dc.description.abstract A state-of-the-art, high-resolution ocean general circulation model is used to estimate the time-dependent global ocean heat transport and investigate its dynamics. The north-south heat transport is the prime manifestation of the ocean’s role in global climate, but understanding of its variability has been fragmentary owing to uncertainties in observational analyses, limitations in models, and the lack of a convincing mechanism. These issues are addressed in this thesis. Technical problems associated with the forcing and sampling of the model, and the impact of high-frequency motions are discussed. Numerical schemes are suggested to remove the inertial energy to prevent aliasing when the model fields are stored for later analysis. Globally, the cross-equatorial, seasonal heat transport fluctuations are close to +4.5 x 1015 watts, the same amplitude as the seasonal, cross-equatorial atmospheric energy transport. The variability is concentrated within 200 of the equator and dominated by the annual cycle. The majority of it is due to wind-induced current fluctuations in which the time-varying wind drives Ekman layer mass transports that are compensated by depth-independent return flows. The temperature difference between the mass transports gives rise to the time-dependent heat transport. The rectified eddy heat transport is calculated from the model. It is weak in the central gyres, and strong in the western boundary currents, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, and the equatorial region. It is largely confined to the upper 1000 meters of the ocean. The rotational component of the eddy heat transport is strong in the oceanic jets, while the divergent component is strongest in the equatorial region and Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The method of estimating the eddy heat transport from an eddy diffusivity derived from mixing length arguments and altimetry data, and the climatological temperature field, is tested and shown not to reproduce the model’s directly evaluated eddy heat transport. Possible reasons for the discrepancy are explored. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Funding for this research came from the Department of Defense under a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. Financial support was also contributed by the National Science Foundation through grants #OCE-9617570 and #OCE-9730071, and the Tokyo Electric Power Company through the TEPCO/MIT Environmental Research Program. The author received partial support from an MIT Climate Modeling Fellowship, made possible by a gift from the American Automobile Manufacturers Association. en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries WHOI Theses en_US
dc.subject Ocean-atmosphere interaction en_US
dc.subject Heat budget en_US
dc.subject Ocean circulation en_US
dc.subject Ocean currents en_US
dc.title Dynamics of global ocean heat transport variability en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1575/1912/4705


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