Climate Implications of Frontal Scale Air–Sea Interaction
Strong air–sea interaction is associated with ocean fronts and mesoscale eddies, in particular near the western boundary currents of each ocean basin. The dynamical and thermodynamical processes of the air–sea interaction associated with these mesoscale features exhibit characteristics that are distinct from the basin-scale air–sea interaction. For instance, the atmospheric boundary layer properties tend to clearly reflect the oceanic influence associated with these mesoscale features, e.g. enhanced low-level wind over warm mesoscale ocean features, while the atmospheric forcing on the ocean is the dominant signal in the basin-scale.
As well as this response in the atmospheric boundary layer, a deep response to mesoscale sea-surface temperature has been detected in a few select geographical regions, mainly the western boundary currents. A key question is whether and to what extent these boundary layer or deeper local responses influence larger-scale and remote atmospheric circulation, a coupled variability.
These topics and questions were discussed at a workshop on frontal-scale air–sea interaction held in August 2013 in Boulder. This AMS special collection of papers presents the state of the research arising from the workshop and related international projects.
R. Justin Small, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Mike Alexander and Matt Newman, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
Dima Smirnov, Dewberry Consultants
Claude Frankignoul, Laboratory of Oceanography and Climate (LOCEAN)/Institute Pierre Simon Laplace, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
Young-Oh Kwon, Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Hisashi Nakamura, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Tokyo; Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology