Decadal variability of the upper ocean heat content in the East/Japan Sea and its possible relationship to northwestern Pacific variability

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Na, Hanna
Kim, Kwang-Yul
Chang, Kyung-Il
Park, Jong Jin
Kim, Kuh
Minobe, Shoshiro
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East/Japan Sea
Decadal variability
Heat content
Northwestern Pacific
The upper ocean heat content variability in the East/Japan Sea was investigated using a 40 year temperature and salinity data set from 1968 to 2007. Decadal variability was identified as the dominant mode of variability in the upper ocean (0–300 m) aside from the seasonal cycle. The decadal variability is strong to the west of northern Honshu, west of the Tsugaru Strait, and west of southern Hokkaido. Temperature anomalies at 50–125 m exhibit a large contribution to the decadal variability, particularly in the eastern part of the East/Japan Sea. The vertical structure of regressed temperature anomalies and the spatial patterns of regressed 10°C isotherms in the East/Japan Sea suggest that the decadal variability is related to upper ocean circulation in the East/Japan Sea. The decadal variability also exhibits an increasing trend, which indicates that the regions showing large decadal variations experienced warming on decadal time scales. Further analysis shows that the decadal variability in the East/Japan Sea is not locally isolated but is related to variability in the northwestern Pacific.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2012. 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 117 (2012): C02017, doi:10.1029/2011JC007369.
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Journal of Geophysical Research 117 (2012): C02017
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