ENSO’s impact on the gap wind regions of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean
Alexander, Michael A.
Scott, James D.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordNorth Pacific Ocean; Atmosphere-ocean interaction; ENSO; Thermocline circulation; Waves, oceanic; Ocean models
The recently released NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) is used to examine the response to ENSO in the northeast tropical Pacific Ocean (NETP) during 1979–2009. The normally cool Pacific sea surface temperatures (SSTs) associated with wind jets through the gaps in the Central American mountains at Tehuantepec, Papagayo, and Panama are substantially warmer (colder) than the surrounding ocean during El Niño (La Niña) events. Ocean dynamics generate the ENSO-related SST anomalies in the gap wind regions as the surface fluxes damp the SSTs anomalies, while the Ekman heat transport is generally in quadrature with the anomalies. The ENSO-driven warming is associated with large-scale deepening of the thermocline; with the cold thermocline water at greater depths during El Niño in the NETP, it is less likely to be vertically mixed to the surface, particularly in the gap wind regions where the thermocline is normally very close to the surface. The thermocline deepening is enhanced to the south of the Costa Rica Dome in the Papagayo region, which contributes to the local ENSO-driven SST anomalies. The NETP thermocline changes are due to coastal Kelvin waves that initiate westward-propagating Rossby waves, and possibly ocean eddies, rather than by local Ekman pumping. These findings were confirmed with regional ocean model experiments: only integrations that included interannually varying ocean boundary conditions were able to simulate the thermocline deepening and localized warming in the NETP during El Niño events; the simulation with variable surface fluxes, but boundary conditions that repeated the seasonal cycle, did not.
Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Climate 25 (2012): 3549–3565, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00320.1.
Suggested CitationJournal of Climate 25 (2012): 3549–3565
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
The Tara Pacific expedition-A pan-ecosystemic approach of the "-omics" complexity of coral reef holobionts across the Pacific Ocean Planes, Serge; Allemand, Denis; Agostini, Sylvain; Banaigs, Bernard; Boissin, Emilie; Boss, Emmanuel S.; Bourdin, Guillaume; Bowler, Chris; Douville, Eric; Flores, J. Michel; Forcioli, Didier; Furla, Paola; Galand, Pierre E.; Ghiglione, Jean-Francois; Gilson, Eric; Lombard, Fabien; Moulin, Clémentine; Pesant, Stephane; Poulain, Julie; Reynaud, Stephanie; Romac, Sarah; Sullivan, Matthew B.; Sunagawa, Shinichi; Thomas, Olivier P.; Troublé, Romain; de Vargas, Colomban; Vega Thurber, Rebecca; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wincker, Patrick; Tara Pacific Consortium (Public Library of Science, 2019-09-23)Coral reefs are the most diverse habitats in the marine realm. Their productivity, structural complexity, and biodiversity critically depend on ecosystem services provided by corals that are threatened because of climate ...
Influence of biological carbon export on ocean carbon uptake over the annual cycle across the North Pacific Ocean Palevsky, Hilary I.; Quay, Paul D. (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-01-21)We evaluate the influences of biological carbon export, physical circulation, and temperature-driven solubility changes on air-sea CO2 flux across the North Pacific basin (35°N–50°N, 142°E–125°W) throughout the full annual ...
Influences of Pacific climate variability on decadal subsurface ocean heat content variations in the Indian Ocean Jin, Xiaolin; Kwon, Young-Oh; Ummenhofer, Caroline C.; Seo, Hyodae; Schwarzkopf, Franziska U.; Biastoch, Arne; Böning, Claus W.; Wright, Jonathon S. (American Meteorological Society, 2018-04-30)Decadal variabilities in Indian Ocean subsurface ocean heat content (OHC; 50–300 m) since the 1950s are examined using ocean reanalyses. This study elaborates on how Pacific variability modulates the Indian Ocean on decadal ...