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J. A. Whitehead

1. Introduction A clear understanding of the dynamics of ocean circulation is required for many fundamental topics within earth science. For example, the contribution of ocean circulation to equator-to-pole heat flux is central to the explanation of past climate changes and is required for any prediction of future climate change. In addition, ocean circulation has fundamental consequences to biological and chemical changes within the ocean, including sequestering of CO 2 . It is now well known

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Baylor Fox-Kemper and Raffaele Ferrari

schematized in Fig. 2 and are determined by If the Ekman transport and any additional “mixed layer” flow are allowed to be diabatic, then there must be a compensating surface buoyancy flux, where Q in is buoyancy forcing (scaled as a heat flux in W m −2 into the ocean), α ≈ 2.2 × 10 −4 K −1 is the expansion coefficient, C w ≈ 4000 J kg −1 K −1 is the heat capacity of seawater, and Δ l is the distance over which the cooling occurs. Under realistic cooling this thermodynamic forcing increases

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