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Joseph L. Reid and Harry L. Bryden
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Joseph L. Reid and Peter F. Lonsdale

Abstract

The Samoan Passage at about 10S, 169W appears to be the major channel through which the deep and abyssal waters flow northward from the South Pacific. The northward flow, Postulated from the distribution of characteristics, is confirmed by direct measurements of the currents. The density field and the water characteristics are consonant with an intensified deep western boundary current, whose quasi-geostrophic balance requires the densest water to lie shallowest on the western side of the Samoan Basin, and from which it appears to cascade suddenly into the deeper waters of the North Tokelau Basin. The density field and the water characteristics are also consonant with a southward flowing western boundary current lying immediately above the abyssal flow. It is proposed that this shallower flow, at depths somewhere between about 2000 and 3500 m, represents a return flow of water from the deep North Pacific, with high nutrient and low oxygen content.

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Joseph L. Reid and Arnold W. Mantyla

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The large-scale oxygen distribution within the upper 1500 m of the North Pacific Ocean reveals an extra zone of low oxygen near 30–40°N in the east that is not easily compatible with a simple large-scale subtropical anticyclonic flow at mid-depth. Further examination of the relative flow patterns suggests that the large subtropical gyre generally supposed to obtain at the sea surface has a very strong return flow southward, just cast of the Kuroshio, and that this flow turns eastward near 20–25°N and extends eastward at least as far as 16°E. At greater depths, near 1000 m, it continues eastward all across the Pacific. The area of high steric height within the anticyclonic gyre at this depth is thus shaped like the letter C, with two branches extending eastward from the western boundary. Each branch has an eastward flow on its north side and a westward flow on its south side. The highest oxygen values at mid-depth are found near the western boundary, deriving from the South Pacific, and the two eastward flows carry the higher oxygen waters eastward as two tongues of higher oxygen values, leaving an area of lower oxygen near 30–40°N in the cast.

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Lynne D. Talley, Joseph L. Reid, and Paul E. Robbins

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The meridional overturning circulation for the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans is computed from absolute geostrophic velocity estimates based on hydrographic data and from climatological Ekman transports. The Atlantic overturn includes the expected North Atlantic Deep Water formation (including Labrador Sea Water and Nordic Sea Overflow Water), with an amplitude of about 18 Sv through most of the Atlantic and an error of the order of 3–5 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1). The Lower Circumpolar Deep Water (Antarctic Bottom Water) flows north with about 8 Sv of upwelling and a southward return in the South Atlantic, and 6 Sv extending to and upwelling in the North Atlantic. The northward flow of 8 Sv in the upper layer in the Atlantic (sea surface through the Antarctic Intermediate Water) is transformed to lower density in the Tropics before losing buoyancy in the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Current. The Pacific overturning streamfunction includes 10 Sv of Lower Circumpolar Deep Water flowing north into the South Pacific to upwell and return southward as Pacific Deep Water, and a North Pacific Intermediate Water cell of 2 Sv. The northern North Pacific has no active deep water formation at the sea surface, but in this analysis there is downwelling from the Antarctic Intermediate Water into the Pacific Deep Water, with upwelling in the Tropics. For global Southern Hemisphere overturn across 30°S, the overturning is separated into a deep and a shallow overturning cell. In the deep cell, 22–27 Sv of deep water flows southward and returns northward as bottom water. In the shallow cell, 9 Sv flows southward at low density and returns northward just above the intermediate water density. In all three oceans, the Tropics appear to dominate upwelling across isopycnals, including the migration of the deepest waters upward to the thermocline in the Indian and Pacific. Estimated diffusivities associated with this tropical upwelling are the same order of magnitude in all three oceans.

It is shown that vertically varying diffusivity associated with topography can produce deep downwelling in the absence of external buoyancy loss. The rate of such downwelling for the northern North Pacific is estimated as 2 Sv at most, which is smaller than the questionable downwelling derived from the velocity analysis.

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Rana A. Fine, Joseph L. Reid, and H. Göte Östlund

Abstract

The input of bomb tritium into the high-latitude Northern Hemisphere waters has demonstrated the spread of a tracer in three dimensions in the North Pacific Ocean. Subsurface tritium maxima in middle and low latitudes clearly show the importance of lateral mixing (along isopycnals) in the upper waters. The tritium pattern as mapped on isopycnal surfaces puts definite time bounds on the exchange between the subtropical anticyclonic gyre of the North Pacific and both the subarctic cyclonic gyre and the system of zonal flows in the equatorial region. The penetration of bomb tritium to depths below 1000 m in the western North Pacific Ocean shows that these waters have been ventilated at least partially in the past 17 years of the post-bomb era. From the tritium pattern the upper waters of the North Pacific can be divided into three regions: a mixed layer that exchanges rapidly with the atmosphere, a laterally ventilated intermediate region (between the mixed layer and at most the winter-outcrop isopycnal) that exchanges on decadal time scales with the atmosphere, and a deeper layer penetrated by vertical diffusion alone, with a longer atmospheric exchange time scale. The greatest percentage of the tritium inventory of the North Pacific is in the intermediate region. This indicates that such lateral ventilations, which take place from all high-latitude regions, are a major source of penetration for atmospheric constituents into the oceans on decadal time scales.

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Joseph L. Reid, Worth D. Nowlin Jr., and William C. Patzert

Abstract

The waters found within the southwestern Atlantic Ocean extend into it as separate lavers with markedly different characteristics. Along the western boundary the deeper waters, derived from the North Atlantic, are warm, highly saline, oxygen-rich and nutrient-poor. This North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) lies within the density range of the Circumpolar Water (CPW) from the south, which is cooler, lower in salinity, very low in oxygen and very high in nutrients. Where the NADW and CPW meet in the southwestern Atlantic, the NADW separates the CPW into two layers above and below the NADW—each less saline, richer in nutrients and lower in oxygen than the NADW.

Above the upper branch of the CPW lies the Subantarctic Intermediate Water, which is lowest in salinity of all the layers. Beneath the lower branch of the CPW lies an abyssal layer derived from the mid-depths of the Weddell Sea. It is colder, less saline, lower in nutrients and higher in oxygen than the Circumpolar Water.

These layers appear to be separated vertically by density gradients which tend to be sharper at the interface than in the layers themselves. These maxima in stability, which result from the interleaving of water masses from different sources, extend over hundreds of kilometers: apparently vertical exchange processes are not strong enough to dissipate them.

Within the Argentine Basin the circulation of all except the abyssal layer appears to be anticyclonic and so tightly compressed against the western boundary that equatorward flow is observed just offshore of the poleward flow at the boundary. Waters from the north (within the Brazil current near the surface and from the North Atlantic at greater depths) flow southward along the western boundary and turn eastward near 40°S, part returning around the anticyclonic gyre and part joining the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Likewise the Circumpolar Waters, which have entered from the Pacific, flow northward along the western boundary to about 40°S and then turn eastward, both above and below the NADW. The abyssal waters are derived from the Weddell Sea. Within the Argentine Basin they flow northward along the western boundary and turn eastward south of the Rio Grande Rise, and then southward on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge; the abyssal flow is cyclonic beneath the anticyclonic upper circulation.

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Svetla M. Hristova-Veleva, P. Peggy Li, Brian Knosp, Quoc Vu, F. Joseph Turk, William L. Poulsen, Ziad Haddad, Bjorn Lambrigtsen, Bryan W. Stiles, Tsae-Pyng Shen, Noppasin Niamsuwan, Simone Tanelli, Ousmane Sy, Eun-Kyoung Seo, Hui Su, Deborah G. Vane, Yi Chao, Philip S. Callahan, R. Scott Dunbar, Michael Montgomery, Mark Boothe, Vijay Tallapragada, Samuel Trahan, Anthony J. Wimmers, Robert Holz, Jeffrey S. Reid, Frank Marks, Tomislava Vukicevic, Saiprasanth Bhalachandran, Hua Leighton, Sundararaman Gopalakrishnan, Andres Navarro, and Francisco J. Tapiador

Abstract

Tropical cyclones (TCs) are among the most destructive natural phenomena with huge societal and economic impact. They form and evolve as the result of complex multiscale processes and nonlinear interactions. Even today the understanding and modeling of these processes is still lacking. A major goal of NASA is to bring the wealth of satellite and airborne observations to bear on addressing the unresolved scientific questions and improving our forecast models. Despite their significant amount, these observations are still underutilized in hurricane research and operations due to the complexity associated with finding and bringing together semicoincident and semicontemporaneous multiparameter data that are needed to describe the multiscale TC processes. Such data are traditionally archived in different formats, with different spatiotemporal resolution, across multiple databases, and hosted by various agencies. To address this shortcoming, NASA supported the development of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Tropical Cyclone Information System (TCIS)—a data analytic framework that integrates model forecasts with multiparameter satellite and airborne observations, providing interactive visualization and online analysis tools. TCIS supports interrogation of a large number of atmospheric and ocean variables, allowing for quick investigation of the structure of the tropical storms and their environments. This paper provides an overview of the TCIS’s components and features. It also summarizes recent pilot studies, providing examples of how the TCIS has inspired new research, helping to increase our understanding of TCs. The goal is to encourage more users to take full advantage of the novel capabilities. TCIS allows atmospheric scientists to focus on new ideas and concepts rather than painstakingly gathering data scattered over several agencies.

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William L. Smith Jr., Christy Hansen, Anthony Bucholtz, Bruce E. Anderson, Matthew Beckley, Joseph G. Corbett, Richard I. Cullather, Keith M. Hines, Michelle Hofton, Seiji Kato, Dan Lubin, Richard H. Moore, Michal Segal Rosenhaimer, Jens Redemann, Sebastian Schmidt, Ryan Scott, Shi Song, John D. Barrick, J. Bryan Blair, David H. Bromwich, Colleen Brooks, Gao Chen, Helen Cornejo, Chelsea A. Corr, Seung-Hee Ham, A. Scott Kittelman, Scott Knappmiller, Samuel LeBlanc, Norman G. Loeb, Colin Miller, Louis Nguyen, Rabindra Palikonda, David Rabine, Elizabeth A. Reid, Jacqueline A. Richter-Menge, Peter Pilewskie, Yohei Shinozuka, Douglas Spangenberg, Paul Stackhouse, Patrick Taylor, K. Lee Thornhill, David van Gilst, and Edward Winstead

Abstract

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Arctic Radiation-IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment (ARISE) acquired unique aircraft data on atmospheric radiation and sea ice properties during the critical late summer to autumn sea ice minimum and commencement of refreezing. The C-130 aircraft flew 15 missions over the Beaufort Sea between 4 and 24 September 2014. ARISE deployed a shortwave and longwave broadband radiometer (BBR) system from the Naval Research Laboratory; a Solar Spectral Flux Radiometer (SSFR) from the University of Colorado Boulder; the Spectrometer for Sky-Scanning, Sun-Tracking Atmospheric Research (4STAR) from the NASA Ames Research Center; cloud microprobes from the NASA Langley Research Center; and the Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS) laser altimeter system from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. These instruments sampled the radiant energy exchange between clouds and a variety of sea ice scenarios, including prior to and after refreezing began. The most critical and unique aspect of ARISE mission planning was to coordinate the flight tracks with NASA Cloud and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) satellite sensor observations in such a way that satellite sensor angular dependence models and derived top-of-atmosphere fluxes could be validated against the aircraft data over large gridbox domains of order 100–200 km. This was accomplished over open ocean, over the marginal ice zone (MIZ), and over a region of heavy sea ice concentration, in cloudy and clear skies. ARISE data will be valuable to the community for providing better interpretation of satellite energy budget measurements in the Arctic and for process studies involving ice–cloud–atmosphere energy exchange during the sea ice transition period.

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