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  • Author or Editor: Carolyn A. Reynolds x
  • Air–Sea Interactions from the Diurnal to the Intraseasonal during the PISTON, MISOBOB, and CAMP2Ex Observational Campaigns in the Tropics x
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Adam V. Rydbeck
Jonathan A. Christophersen
Maria K. Flatau
Matthew A. Janiga
Tommy G. Jensen
Carolyn A. Reynolds
James A. Ridout
Travis A. Smith
, and
Hemantha Wijesekera


Moist static energy (MSE) and ocean heat content (OHC) in the tropics are inextricably linked. The processes by which sources and sinks of OHC modulate column integrated MSE in the Indian Ocean (IO) are explored through a reformulation of the MSE budget using atmosphere and ocean reanalysis data. In the reframed MSE budget, interfacial air–sea turbulent and radiative fluxes are replaced for information on upper ocean dynamics, thus “mooring” the MSE tendency to the subsurface ocean. On subseasonal time scales, ocean forcing is largely responsible for the amplification of MSE anomalies across the IO, with basin average growth rates of 10% day−1. Local OHC depletion is the leading contributor to anomalous MSE amplification with average rates of 12% day−1. Along the equator, MSE is amplified by OHC vertical advection. Ocean forcing only weakly reduces the propagation tendency of MSE anomalies (−2% day−1), with propagation predominantly resulting from atmosphere forcing (10% day−1). OHC in the IO acts as an MSE reservoir that is expended during periods of enhanced intraseasonal atmosphere convection and recharged during periods of suppressed convection. Because OHC is an MSE source during enhanced intraseasonal convection periods, it largely offsets the negative MSE tendency produced by horizontal advection in the atmosphere. The opposite effect occurs during suppressed convection periods, where OHC is a sink of MSE and counters the positive MSE tendency produced by horizontal advection in the atmosphere.

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