Wind Stress Forcing of the Ocean in the SOC Climatology: Comparisons with the NCEP–NCAR, ECMWF, UWM/COADS, and Hellerman and Rosenstein Datasets

Simon A. Josey James Rennell Division, Southampton Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom

Search for other papers by Simon A. Josey in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Elizabeth C. Kent James Rennell Division, Southampton Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom

Search for other papers by Elizabeth C. Kent in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Peter K. Taylor James Rennell Division, Southampton Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom

Search for other papers by Peter K. Taylor in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

Results from an analysis of the Southampton Oceanography Centre (SOC) global wind stress climatology, which is based on in situ reports for the period 1980–93, are presented. The accuracy of the SOC stresses has been assessed at several locations by comparison of individual monthly means with measurements from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution research buoy deployments. For the subduction buoy array, situated in the subtropical North Atlantic, the random error in the SOC individual monthly mean wind stress ranges from 0.004 to 0.008 N m−2, which corresponds to between 5% and 10% of the mean stress depending on which buoy is considered. The large-scale characteristics of the SOC fields are compared with those of the NCEP–NCAR and ECMWF atmospheric model reanalyses, and the in situ observation based on the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee/Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Dataset (UWM/COADS) and Hellerman and Rosenstein (HR) climatologies. The NCEP–NCAR fields show noticeably weaker wind stress forcing in the Tropics than SOC, while ECMWF and UWM/COADS are in good agreement. From the Tropics to the midlatitudes, the HR stresses tend to be stronger than SOC and the other recent climatologies. At higher latitudes, differences in the spatial structure of the Northern Hemisphere subpolar gyres in SOC and HR are found that are consistent with variations in the state of the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oscillations within the periods on which the climatologies are based. A detailed comparison of the wind-driven response of the ocean is presented for SOC and HR. The North Atlantic subpolar gyre is more intense in SOC than HR and this leads to a doubling in the strength of the Ekman suction. January mean upwelling velocities in this region deduced from the two datasets are 18.9 and 8.6 m month−1, respectively. In the North Pacific a single large-scale subpolar gyre is evident in SOC compared with two smaller gyres in HR. Seasonal to interannual variability in the wind-driven ocean response is quantified using an extended version of the SOC dataset covering the period 1980–97. Significant variability in the Ekman transport across several latitudes that correspond to WOCE hydrographic sections is observed and related to the major atmospheric pressure oscillations.

Corresponding author address: Simon Josey, Room 254/31, James Rennell Division, Southampton Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, United Kingdom. Email: Simon.A.Josey@soc.soton.ac.uk.

Abstract

Results from an analysis of the Southampton Oceanography Centre (SOC) global wind stress climatology, which is based on in situ reports for the period 1980–93, are presented. The accuracy of the SOC stresses has been assessed at several locations by comparison of individual monthly means with measurements from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution research buoy deployments. For the subduction buoy array, situated in the subtropical North Atlantic, the random error in the SOC individual monthly mean wind stress ranges from 0.004 to 0.008 N m−2, which corresponds to between 5% and 10% of the mean stress depending on which buoy is considered. The large-scale characteristics of the SOC fields are compared with those of the NCEP–NCAR and ECMWF atmospheric model reanalyses, and the in situ observation based on the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee/Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Dataset (UWM/COADS) and Hellerman and Rosenstein (HR) climatologies. The NCEP–NCAR fields show noticeably weaker wind stress forcing in the Tropics than SOC, while ECMWF and UWM/COADS are in good agreement. From the Tropics to the midlatitudes, the HR stresses tend to be stronger than SOC and the other recent climatologies. At higher latitudes, differences in the spatial structure of the Northern Hemisphere subpolar gyres in SOC and HR are found that are consistent with variations in the state of the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oscillations within the periods on which the climatologies are based. A detailed comparison of the wind-driven response of the ocean is presented for SOC and HR. The North Atlantic subpolar gyre is more intense in SOC than HR and this leads to a doubling in the strength of the Ekman suction. January mean upwelling velocities in this region deduced from the two datasets are 18.9 and 8.6 m month−1, respectively. In the North Pacific a single large-scale subpolar gyre is evident in SOC compared with two smaller gyres in HR. Seasonal to interannual variability in the wind-driven ocean response is quantified using an extended version of the SOC dataset covering the period 1980–97. Significant variability in the Ekman transport across several latitudes that correspond to WOCE hydrographic sections is observed and related to the major atmospheric pressure oscillations.

Corresponding author address: Simon Josey, Room 254/31, James Rennell Division, Southampton Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, United Kingdom. Email: Simon.A.Josey@soc.soton.ac.uk.

Save
  • Bacon, S., 1997: Circulation and fluxes in the North Atlantic between Greenland and Ireland. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 27 , 14201435.

  • Bonekamp, H., G. J. Komen, A. Sterl, P. A. E. M. Janssen, P. K. Taylor, and M. J. Yelland, 2002: Statistical comparisons of observed and ECMWF modeled open ocean surface drag. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 32 , 10101027.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Böning, C. W., R. Döscher, and H-J. Isemer, 1991: Monthly mean wind stress and Sverdrup transports in the North Atlantic: A comparison of the Hellerman–Rosenstein and Isemer–Hasse climatologies. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 21 , 221235.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bryden, H. L., and L. M. Beal, 2001: Role of the Agulhas Current in Indian Ocean circulation and associated heat and freshwater fluxes. Deep-Sea Res., I, 48 , 18211845.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bryden, H. L., D. H. Roemmich, and J. A. Church, 1991: Ocean heat transport across 24°N in the Pacific. Deep-Sea Res., 38 , 297324.

  • Bunker, A. F., 1976: Computations of surface energy flux and annual air–sea interaction cycles of the North Atlantic Ocean. Mon. Wea. Rev., 104 , 11221140.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chelton, D. B., A. M. Mestas-Nuñez, and M. H. Freilich, 1990: Global wind stress and Sverdrup circulation from the Seasat scatterometer. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 20 , 11751205.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Da Silva, A. M., C. C. Young, and S. Levitus, 1994: Algorithms and Procedures. Vol. 1,. Atlas of Surface Marine Data. NOAA Atlas NESDIS 6, 74 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dickson, R., J. Lazier, J. Meincke, and P. Rhines, 1996: Long-term coordinated changes in the convective activity of the North Atlantic. Decadal Climate Variability: Dynamics and Predictability, D. A. J. Willebrand, Ed., NATO ASI Series, Vol. 44, Springer-Verlag, 211–262.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fairall, C. W., E. F. Bradley, D. P. Rogers, J. B. Edson, and G. S. Young, 1996: Bulk parameterization of air–sea fluxes for TOGA COARE. J. Geophys. Res., 101 , 37473764.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fanning, A. F., R. J. Greatbatch, A. M. da Silva, and S. Levitus, 1994: Model-calculated seasonal transport variations through the Florida Straits: A comparison using different wind stress climatologies. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 24 , 3045.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Geernaert, G. L., 1990: Bulk parametrisations for the wind stress and heat fluxes. Surface Waves and Fluxes, Vol. 1,. G. L. Geernaert and W. J. Plant, Eds., Current Theory, Kluwer, 91–172.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gershunov, A., and T. Barnett, 1998: Interdecadal modulation of ENSO teleconnections. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 79 , 27152725.

  • Gill, A. E., 1982: Atmosphere–Ocean Dynamics. Academic Press, 662 pp.

  • Gleckler, P. J., and B. C. Weare, 1997: Uncertainties in global ocean surface heat flux climatologies derived from ship observations. J. Climate, 10 , 27642781.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gordon, C., and R. A. Corry, 1991: A model simulation of the seasonal cycle in the tropical Pacific Ocean using climatological and modeled surface forcing. J. Geophys. Res., 96 , 847864.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gulev, S. K., and L. Hasse, 1998: North Atlantic wind waves and wind stress fields from voluntary observing ship data. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 28 , 11071130.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hall, M. M., and H. L. Bryden, 1982: Direct estimates and mechanisms of ocean heat transport. Deep-Sea Res., 29 ((3A),) 339359.

  • Harrison, D. E., 1989: On climatological monthly mean wind stress and wind stress curl fields over the World Ocean. J. Climate, 2 , 5770.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hellerman, S., and M. Rosenstein, 1983: Normal monthly wind stress over the World Ocean with error estimates. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 13 , 10931104.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hurrell, J. W., 1995: Decadal trends in the North Atlantic Oscillation regional temperatures and precipitation. Science, 269 , 676679.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hurrell, J. W., and H. van Loon, 1997: Decadal variations in climate associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation. Climatic Change, 36 , 301326.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Isemer, H-J., and L. Hasse, 1987: The Bunker Climate Atlas of the North Atlantic Ocean. Vol. 2, Air-Sea Interactions, Springer-Verlag, 252 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Josey, S. A., 1999: Seasonal to interannual variability in the SOC air–sea flux dataset and Hadley Centre Atmospheric Model Version 3. Southampton Oceanography Centre Internal Document No. 51, 38 pp. [Available online at http://www.soc.soton.ac.uk/JRD/MET/PDF/hadam3.pdf.].

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Josey, S. A., . 2001: A Comparison of ECMWF, NCEP/NCAR and SOC surface heat fluxes with moored buoy measurements in the subduction region of the north-east Atlantic. J. Climate, 14 , 17801789.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Josey, S. A., E. C. Kent, and P. K. Taylor, 1998: The Southampton Oceanography Centre (SOC) ocean–atmosphere heat, momentum and freshwater flux atlas. Southampton Oceanography Centre Report 6, 30 pp. [Available online at http://www.soc.soton.ac.uk/JRD/MET/PDF/SOC_flux_atlas.pdf.].

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Josey, S. A., . 1999: New insights into the ocean heat budget closure problem from analysis of the SOC air–sea flux climatology. J. Climate, 12 , 28562880.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kallberg, P., 1997: Aspects of the Re-analysed Climate. ECMWF Re-Analysis Project Report Series, Part 2, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, 89 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kalnay, E., and Coauthors. 1996: The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 77 , 437471.

  • Kaufeld, L., 1981: The development of a new Beaufort equivalent scale. Meteor. Rundsch., 34 , 1723.

  • Kent, E. C., and P. K. Taylor, 1997: Choice of a Beaufort Equivalent Scale. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 14 , 228242.

  • Kent, E. C., B. S. Truscott, and J. S. Hopkins, 1993a: The accuracy of voluntary observing ships meteorological observations—results of the VSOP—NA. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 10 , 591608.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kent, E. C., R. J. Tiddy, and P. K. Taylor, 1993b: Correction of marine air temperature observations for solar radiation effects. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 10 , 900906.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kent, E. C., P. G. Challenor, and P. K. Taylor, 1999: A statistical determination of the random observational errors present in voluntary observing ships meteorological reports. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 16 , 905914.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kent, E. C., P. K. Taylor, and P. G. Challenor, 2000: The effect of successive correction on variability estimates for climatological datasets. J. Climate, 13 , 18451857.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Klein, B., R. L. Molinari, T. J. Mueller, and G. Siedler, 1995: A transatlantic section at 14.5°N: Meridional volume and heat fluxes. J. Mar. Res., 53 , 929957.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Large, W. G., and S. Pond, 1981: Open ocean momentum flux measurements in moderate to strong winds. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 11 , 324336.

  • Leetmaa, A., and A. F. Bunker, 1978: Updated charts of the mean annual wind stress, convergences in the Ekman Layers, and Sverdrup transports in the North Atlantic. J. Mar. Res., 36 , 311322.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lindau, R., 1995: A new Beaufort equivalent scale. Int. COADS Winds Workshop, Kiel, Germany, Environmental Research Laboratory, NOAA, 232–252.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mantua, N. J., S. R. Hare, Y. Zhang, J. M. Wallace, and R. C. Francis, 1997: A Pacific interdecadal climate oscillation with impacts on salmon production. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 78 , 10691079.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McPhaden, M. J., and Coauthors. 1998: The Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere observing system: A decade of progress. J. Geophys. Res., 103 , 1416914240.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Megann, A. P., and A. L. New, 2001: The effects of resolution and viscosity in an isopycnic-coordinate model of the equatorial Pacific. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 31 , 19932018.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mestas-Nunez, A. M., D. B. Chelton, M. H. Freilich, and J. G. Richman, 1994: An evaluation of ECMWF-based climatological wind stress fields. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 24 , 15321549.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Milliff, R. F., W. G. Large, J. Morzel, G. Danabasoglu, and T. M. Chin, 1999: Ocean general circulation model sensitivity to forcing from scatterometer winds. J. Geophys. Res., 104 , 1133711358.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Moyer, K. A., and R. A. Weller, 1997: Observations of surface forcing from the subduction experiment: A comparison with global model products and climatological data sets. J. Climate, 10 , 27252742.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Renfrew, I. A., G. W. K. Moore, P. S. Guest, and K. Bumke, 2002: A comparison of surface layer and surface turbulent flux observations over the Labrador Sea with ECMWF and NCEP reanalyses. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 32 , 383400.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Saunders, P. M., 1976: On the uncertainty of wind stress curl calculations. J. Mar. Res., 34 , 155160.

  • Smith, L. T., E. P. Chassignet, and R. Bleck, 2000: The impact of lateral boundary conditions and horizontal resolution on North Atlantic water mass transformations and pathways in an isopycnic coordinate ocean model. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 30 , 137159.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, S. D., 1980: Wind stress and heat flux over the ocean in gale force winds. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 10 , 709726.

  • Smith, S. D., . 1988: Coefficients for sea surface wind stress, heat flux and wind profiles as a function of wind speed and temperature. J. Geophys. Res., 93 , 1546715474.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, S. D., . 1989: Water vapour flux at the sea surface. Bound.-Layer Meteor., 47 , 277293.

  • Smith, S. R., D. M. Legler, and K. V. Verzone, 1999: Quantifying uncertainties in NCEP reanalyses using high-quality research vessel observations. Proc. Second Int. Conf. on Re-Analyses, Reading, United Kingdom, ECMWF, 133–136.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Speer, K. G., J. Holfort, T. Reynaud, and G. Siedler, 1996: South Atlantic heat flux at 11°S. The South Atlantic: Present and Past Circulation, G. Wefer et al., Eds., Springer Verlag.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stammer, D., C. Wunsch, R. Giering, C. Eckert, P. Heimbach, J. Marotzke, A. Adcroft, C. N. Hill, and J. Marshall, 2001: The global ocean circulation during 1992–1997, estimated from ocean observations and a general circulation model. J. Geophys. Res., in press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stricherz, J. N., D. M. Legler, and J. J. O'Brien, 1997: TOGA Pseudo-Stress Atlas 1985–1994: II Tropical Pacific Ocean,. COAPS/Florida State University, 162 pp.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sturges, W., B. G. Hong, and A. J. Clarke, 1998: Decadal forcing of the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 28 , 659668.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, P. K., and M. J. Yelland, 2000: A note on the apparent “imbalance” term in the Turbulent Kinetic Energy Budget. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 17 , 8289.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, P. K., . 2001: The dependence of sea surface roughness on the height and steepness of the waves. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 31 , 572590.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, P. K., E. C. Kent, M. J. Yelland, and B. I. Moat, 1995: The accuracy of wind observations from ships. Proc. Int. COADS Winds Workshop, Kiel, Germany, Environmental Research Laboratory, NOAA, 132–155.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Taylor, P. K., . 1999: The accuracy of marine surface winds from ships and buoys. CLIMAR 99, WMO Workshop on Advances in Marine Climatology, Vancouver, BC, Canada, World Meteorological Organization, 59–68.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trenberth, K. E., and J. G. Olson, 1988: An evaluation and intercomparison of global analyses from the National Meteorological Centre and the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 69 , 10471057.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trenberth, K. E., W. G. Large, and J. G. Olson, 1990: The mean annual cycle in global ocean wind stress. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 20 , 17421760.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weller, R. A., and S. P. Anderson, 1996: Surface meteorology and air–sea fluxes in the western equatorial warm pool during the TOGA coupled ocean–atmosphere response experiment. J. Climate, 9 , 19591990.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weller, R. A., D. L. Rudnick, and N. J. Brink, 1995: Meteorological variability and air–sea fluxes at a closely spaced array of surface moorings. J. Geophys. Res., 100 ((C3),) 48674883.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weller, R. A., M. F. Baumgartner, S. A. Josey, A. S. Fischer, and J. Kindle, 1998: Atmospheric forcing in the Arabian Sea during 1994–1995: Observations and comparisons with climatology and models. Deep-Sea Res. II, 45 , 19611999.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WGASF, 2000: Intercomparison and validation of ocean–atmosphere energy flux fields. Final Report of the Joint WCRP–SCOR Working Group on Air–Sea Fluxes (SCOR Working Group 110), WCRP-112, WMO/TD-No. 1036, WMO, Geneva, 312.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wijffels, S. E., J. M. Toole, H. L. Bryden, R. A. Fine, W. J. Jenkins, and J. L. Bullister, 1996: The water masses and circulation at 10°N in the Pacific. Deep-Sea Res., I, 43 , 501544.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WMO, 1993: International list of selected, supplementary and auxiliary ships. WMO Report No. 47, WMO, Geneva, various pagination.

  • Woodruff, S. D., R. J. Slutz, R. L. Jenne, and P. M. Steurer, 1987: A comprehensive ocean–atmosphere data set. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 68 , 12391250.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Woodruff, S. D., S. J. Lubker, K. Wolter, S. J. Worley, and J. D. Elms, 1993: Comprehensive Ocean–Atmosphere Data Set (COADS) release 1a: 1980–92. Earth Syst. Monitor, 4 , 48.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wunsch, C., 1999: The interpretation of short climate records, with comments on the North Atlantic and Southern Oscillations. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 80 , 245255.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wunsch, C., and D. Roemmich, 1985: Is the North Atlantic in Sverdrup balance? J. Phys. Oceanogr., 15 , 18761880.

  • Yelland, M. J., B. I. Moat, P. K. Taylor, R. W. Pascal, J. Hutchings, and V. C. Cornell, 1998: Wind stress measurements from the open ocean corrected for air flow distortion by the ship. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 28 , 15111526.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zhang, Y., J. M. Wallace, and D. S. Battisti, 1997: ENSO-like interdecadal variability: 1900–93. J. Climate, 10 , 10041020.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 558 163 10
PDF Downloads 212 65 5