• Allen, M. R., , S. P. Lawrence, , M. J. Murray, , C. T. Mutlow, , T. N. Stockdale, , D. T. Llewellyn-Jones, , and D. L. T. Anderson, 1995:: Control of instability waves in the Pacific. Geophys. Res. Lett, 22 , 25812584.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bernstein, R. L., , L. Breaker, , and R. Whritner, 1977: California Current eddy formation: Ship, air and satellite results. Science, 195 , 353359.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cayan, D. R., 1992: Latent and sensible heat flux anomalies over the northern oceans: Driving the sea surface temperature. J. Phys. Oceanogr, 22 , 859881.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chelton, D. B., , and M. G. Schlax, 1996: Global observations of oceanic Rossby waves. Science, 272 , 234238.

  • Chelton, D. B., , R. A. deSzoeke, , M. G. Schlax, , K. El Naggar, , and N. Siwertz, 1998: Geographical variability of the first baroclinic Rossby radius of deformation. J. Phys. Oceanogr, 28 , 433460.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cipollini, P., , D. Cromwell, , M. S. Jones, , G. D. Quartly, , and P. G. Challenor, 1997: Concurrent altimeter and infrared observations of Rossby waves propagating near 34°N in the northeast Atlantic. Geophys. Res. Lett, 24 , 88524 892.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frankignoul, C., 1985: Sea surface temperature anomalies, planetary waves, and air–sea feedback in the middle latitudes. Rev. Geophys, 23 , 357390.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frankignoul, C., 1999: Sea surface temperature variability in the North Atlantic on monthly to decadal time scales. I. Beyond El Niño: Decadal and Interdecadal Climate Variability, A. Navarra, Ed., Springer-Verlag, 25–47.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frankignoul, C., , and K. Hasselmann, 1977: Stochastic climate studies, II: Application to sea-surface temperature variability and thermocline. Tellus, 29 , 284305.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Frankignoul, C., , A. Czaja, , and B. L'Heveder, 1998: Air–sea feedback in the North Atlantic and surface boundary conditions for ocean models,. J. Climate, 11 , 23102324.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gill, A. E., , and P. P. Niiler, 1973: The theory of the seasonal variability in the ocean. Deep-Sea Res, 20 , 141177.

  • Goodman, J., , and J. Marshall, 1999: A model of decadal middle-latitude atmosphere–ocean coupled modes. J. Climate, 12 , 621641.

  • Halliwell, G. R. Jr, , Y. J. Ro, , and P. Cornillon, 1991: Westward-propagating SST anomalies and baroclinic eddies in the Sargasso Sea. J. Phys. Oceanogr, 21 , 16641680.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jacobs, G., , H. E. Hurlburt, , J. C. Kindle, , E. J. Metzger, , J. L. Mitchell, , W. J. Teague, , and A. J. Wallcraft, 1994: Decadal-scale trans-Pacific propagation and warming effects of an El Niño anomaly. Nature, 370 , 360363.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • King, C., , D. Stammer, , and C. Wunsch, 1994: The CMOP/MIT TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter data set. Center for Global Change Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Tech. Rep. 30, 45pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kushnir, Y., 1994: Interdecadal variations in North Atlantic sea surface temperature and associated atmospheric conditions. J. Climate, 7 , 141157.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kushnir, Y., , and I. M. Held, 1996: Equilibrium atmospheric response to North Atlantic SST anomalies. J. Climate, 9 , 12081220.

  • Legeckis, R. V., 1975: Application of synchronous meteorological satellite data to the study of time dependent sea surface temperature changes along the boundary of the Gulf Stream. Geophys. Res. Lett, 2 , 435438.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Leuliette, E. W., , and J. M. Wahr, 1999: Coupled pattern analysis of sea surface temperature and TOPEX/Poseidon sea surface height. J. Phys. Oceanogr, 29 , 599611.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Levitus, S., , and T. P. Boyer, 1994: World Ocean Atlas 1994. Vol 4: Temperature, NOAA Atlas NESDIS 3, 117 pp.

  • Levitus, S., , R. Burgett, , and T. P. Boyer, 1994: World Ocean Atlas 1994. Vol. 3: Salinity, NOAA Atlas NESDIS 3, 97 pp.

  • Nerem, S., , D. P. Chambers, , E. W. Leuliette, , G. T. Mitchum, , and B. S. Giese, 1999: Variations in global mean sea level associated with the 1997–1998 ENSO event: Implications for measuring long term sea level change. Geophys. Res. Lett, 26 , 30053008.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rahmstorf, S., , and J. Willebrand, 1995: The role of temperature feedback in stabilizing the thermohaline circulation. J. Phys. Oceanogr, 25 , 787805.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reynolds, R. W., , and T. M. Smith, 1994: Improved global sea surface temperature analysis using optimum interpolation. J. Climate, 7 , 929948.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Richardson, P. L., , and D. Walsh, 1986: Mapping climatological seasonal variations of surface currents in the tropical Atlantic using ship drifts. J. Geophys. Res, 91 , 10 53710 550.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schlax, M. G., , and D. B. Chelton, 1992: Frequency domain diagnostics for linear smoothers. J. Amer. Stat. Assoc, 87 , 10701081.

  • Stammer, D., 1997: Steric and wind-induced changes in large-scale sea surface topography observed by TOPEX/POSEIDON. J. Geophys. Res, 102 , 20 98721 009.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stammer, D., , and C. Wunsch, 1994: Preliminary assessment of the accuracy and precision of TOPEX/POSEIDON altimeter data with respect to the large scale ocean circulation. J. Geophys. Res, 99, , 24 58425 604.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stammer, D., , C. Wunsch, , and R. Ponte, 2000: De-aliasing of global high frequency barotropic motions in altimeter observations. Geophys. Res. Lett, 27 , 11751178.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stevenson, J. W., 1983: The seasonal variation of the surface mixed-layer response to the vertical motions of linear Rossby waves. J. Phys. Oceanogr, 13 , 12551268.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Voorhis, A. D., , E. H. Schroeder, , and A. Leetmaa, 1976: The influence of deep mesoscale eddies on sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic subtropical convergence. J. Phys. Oceanogr, 6 , 953961.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wunsch, C., 1997: The vertical partition of oceanic horizontal kinetic energy and the spectrum of global variability. J. Phys. Oceanogr, 27 , 17701794.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wunsch, C., , and D. Stammer, 1995: The global frequency–wavenumber spectrum of oceanic variability estimated from TOPEK/POSEIDON altimeter measurements. J. Geophys. Res, 100 , 24 89529 910.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zang, X., , and C. Wunsch, 1999: The observed dispersion relationship for North Pacific Rossby wave motions. J. Phys. Oceanogr, 29 , 21832190.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 257 257 12
PDF Downloads 148 148 13

The Effect of Ocean Currents on Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

View More View Less
  • 1 Geodetic Department, Kort & Matrikelstyrelsen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • | 2 Physical Oceanography Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California
© Get Permissions Rent on DeepDyve
Restricted access

Abstract

Global and regional correlations between observed anomalies in sea surface temperature and height are investigated. A strong agreement between the two fields is found over a broad range of latitudes for different ocean basins. From a global frequency spectrum, a mean SST damping timescale of 2–3 months was found with westward and eastward propagating anomalies contributing more or less equally to the total variance. Time–longitude plots and wavenumber–frequency spectra show a significant advective forcing of SST anomalies by a first-mode baroclinic eddy or wave field on spatial scales down to 400 km and timescales as short as 1 month. A scaling analysis of forcing terms in a mixed layer temperature model suggests that Ekman terms are expected to be smaller in magnitude. Even though the magnitude of the mean background temperature gradient determines the effectiveness of the forcing, there is no obvious seasonality that can be detected in the amplitudes of SST anomalies. Instead, individual wavelike signatures in SST can be followed for several months, in some cases even up to two years. The phase lag between SST and SSH anomalies is dependent upon frequency and wavenumber and displays a general decrease toward higher latitudes where the two fields come into phase at low frequencies. Linear feedback coefficients, estimated for an intermediate-scale advective-forcing model, generally increase with latitude. They are much higher than previous estimates for atmospheric damping processes and suggest the importance of ocean mixing processes for the evolution of SST. Estimates of atmospheric feedback on small scales were obtained by matching simultaneous transient features in both SST and surface heat flux fields, yielding values of 30–40 W m−2 for several zonal sections in the North Pacific.

* Current affiliation: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California.

Corresponding author address: Detlef Stammer, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 9500 Gilman Dr., MS 0230, La Jolla, CA 92393-0230. Email: dstammer@uscd.edu

Abstract

Global and regional correlations between observed anomalies in sea surface temperature and height are investigated. A strong agreement between the two fields is found over a broad range of latitudes for different ocean basins. From a global frequency spectrum, a mean SST damping timescale of 2–3 months was found with westward and eastward propagating anomalies contributing more or less equally to the total variance. Time–longitude plots and wavenumber–frequency spectra show a significant advective forcing of SST anomalies by a first-mode baroclinic eddy or wave field on spatial scales down to 400 km and timescales as short as 1 month. A scaling analysis of forcing terms in a mixed layer temperature model suggests that Ekman terms are expected to be smaller in magnitude. Even though the magnitude of the mean background temperature gradient determines the effectiveness of the forcing, there is no obvious seasonality that can be detected in the amplitudes of SST anomalies. Instead, individual wavelike signatures in SST can be followed for several months, in some cases even up to two years. The phase lag between SST and SSH anomalies is dependent upon frequency and wavenumber and displays a general decrease toward higher latitudes where the two fields come into phase at low frequencies. Linear feedback coefficients, estimated for an intermediate-scale advective-forcing model, generally increase with latitude. They are much higher than previous estimates for atmospheric damping processes and suggest the importance of ocean mixing processes for the evolution of SST. Estimates of atmospheric feedback on small scales were obtained by matching simultaneous transient features in both SST and surface heat flux fields, yielding values of 30–40 W m−2 for several zonal sections in the North Pacific.

* Current affiliation: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California.

Corresponding author address: Detlef Stammer, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 9500 Gilman Dr., MS 0230, La Jolla, CA 92393-0230. Email: dstammer@uscd.edu

Save