Potential Predictability of Interannual Variability in the Kuroshio Extension Jet Speed in an Eddy-Resolving OGCM

Masami Nonaka Research Institute for Global Change, JAMSTEC, Yokohama, Japan

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Hideharu Sasaki Earth Simulator Center, JAMSTEC, Yokohama, Japan

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Bunmei Taguchi Earth Simulator Center, JAMSTEC, Yokohama, Japan

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Hisashi Nakamura Research Institute for Global Change, JAMSTEC, Yokohama, and Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

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Abstract

Variability in the Kuroshio Extension (KE) jet speed has been considered to impact the upper-ocean ecosystem. This study investigates potential predictability of interannual variability in the KE jet speed that could arise from the propagation time of wind-driven Rossby waves as suggested by previous studies, through prediction experiments with an eddy-resolving ocean general circulation model (OGCM) under the perfect-model assumption. Despite the small number of experiments available because of limited computational resources, the prediction experiments with no anomalous atmospheric forcing suggest some predictability for not only broad-scale sea surface height anomalies (SSHAs) but also the frontal-scale KE jet speed. The predictability is confirmed in a 60-yr hindcast OGCM integration as a significantly high correlation (r = 0.68) of 13-month running mean time series of the anomalous KE jet speed with SSHAs that appear in the central North Pacific Ocean 3 yr earlier. Although with fewer degrees of freedom, the same lag relationship can be found between satellite-measured SSHAs and the geostrophically derived KE jet speed.

Corresponding author address: Masami Nonaka, Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), 3173-25 Showa-machi, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0001, Japan. E-mail: nona@jamstec.go.jp

Abstract

Variability in the Kuroshio Extension (KE) jet speed has been considered to impact the upper-ocean ecosystem. This study investigates potential predictability of interannual variability in the KE jet speed that could arise from the propagation time of wind-driven Rossby waves as suggested by previous studies, through prediction experiments with an eddy-resolving ocean general circulation model (OGCM) under the perfect-model assumption. Despite the small number of experiments available because of limited computational resources, the prediction experiments with no anomalous atmospheric forcing suggest some predictability for not only broad-scale sea surface height anomalies (SSHAs) but also the frontal-scale KE jet speed. The predictability is confirmed in a 60-yr hindcast OGCM integration as a significantly high correlation (r = 0.68) of 13-month running mean time series of the anomalous KE jet speed with SSHAs that appear in the central North Pacific Ocean 3 yr earlier. Although with fewer degrees of freedom, the same lag relationship can be found between satellite-measured SSHAs and the geostrophically derived KE jet speed.

Corresponding author address: Masami Nonaka, Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), 3173-25 Showa-machi, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0001, Japan. E-mail: nona@jamstec.go.jp
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