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Yang-Ki Cho and Kuh Kim

Abstract

Hydrographic studies show the seasonal variation of the East Korean Warm Current (EKWC), which is a branch of the Tsushima Current along the Korean coast. To understand the dynamics of the branching mechanism of the TC in the Korea Strait, a hydraulic model with two active layers was investigated in a rectangular strait with varying depth. When the lower cold water flows southward in a shallow meridional channel from the deep northern basin, it separates from the eastern boundary because of the sloping bottom to conserve potential vorticity. After separation, the lower layer hugs the western boundary as the channel becomes shallow. In a region where the lower layer is absent due to separation, the northward flow in the upper layer has a positive relative vorticity to conserve potential vorticity because the bottom topography becomes deeper from south to north. The northward velocity has its maximum on the eastern boundary. This mechanism may explain the formation of the branch along the Japanese coast. The upper layer along the western boundary experiences shrinking of its water column because of the presence of the lower layer, and negative relative vorticities are induced to conserve potential vorticity. The negative relative vorticity intensifies the northward flow of the upper layer near the western boundary. This is believed to be the causal mechanism of the EKWC. If the top of the lower layer in the basin is deep, such as it is in winter, the lower layer cannot reach the strait since the Bernoulli potential of the lower layer is small. This may explain why the EKWC is absent in winter.

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Yang-Ki Cho, Moon-Ouk Kim, and Byung-Choon Kim

Abstract

There are many island stations that routinely observe sea fog around the Korean peninsula. Historical daytime sea fog data were used to investigate the relationships between sea fog occurrence and its associated environmental factors. The frequency of sea fog occurrence is at its maximum in July in all seas around the Korean peninsula. The frequency shows a maximum in the west sea and a minimum in the east sea in spite of their similar latitude. The value of the air temperature minus the sea surface temperature is highest in all seas in July, when the frequency of sea fog occurrence is at its maximum. The heavy frequency of sea fog occurrence appears at the strong tidal mixing region in the west sea in summer, when the temperature difference between the air and the sea surface is large. Strong tidal currents provide relatively cold surface water at the mixing region in summer. It is clearly shown that the sea fog occurrence depends on dewpoint temperature (DPT) and sea surface temperature (SST). The frequency of sea fog increases greatly when the DPT is high and the value of DPT minus SST (DPT–SST) is large. A heavy frequency of sea fog of more than 50% appears frequently in cold water regions by strong tidal mixing when DPT is over 12°C and DPT–SST is larger than 2°C in summer.

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MyeongHee Han, Yang-Ki Cho, Hyoun-Woo Kang, and SungHyun Nam

Abstract

Meridional overturning circulation (MOC) is vital to distributing heat, freshwater, and dissolved matter in semienclosed deep marginal seas such as the East Sea (ES) (Sea of Japan). As our understanding of the ES MOC remains incomplete, we attempted to fill this research gap. We analyzed the ES MOC and its decadal change (1993–2012), employing Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) global reanalysis. We found that the ES MOC, consisting of two counterrotating overturning cells in the late 1990s, changed into a single full-depth cell in the 2000s and reverted to two cells in the 2010s. The decadal change relates to weakening of the southward western boundary current at the intermediate layer and northward eastern boundary currents at the deep abyssal layer. We propose that surface warming and salinification favored reduced intermediate water formation and enhanced bottom water formation in the northwestern ES in the 2000s and were, therefore, key to the decadal change. Conditions unfavorable to intermediate water formation and favorable to bottom water formation in the winters of the 2000s, compared with the late 1990s, enhanced northward (westward) Ekman transport in the southern (northeastern) ES, successive advection of surface warm, saline water into water formation areas, and air–sea heat and freshwater exchanges linked to the January Arctic Oscillation. Our results indicated that the ES MOC is sensitive to both external atmospheric forcing and internal ES processes, which have implications for significant changes in the response of other marginal seas and global oceans to future climate variability.

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Eun Young Kwon, Curtis Deutsch, Shang-Ping Xie, Sunke Schmidtko, and Yang-Ki Cho

Abstract

The transport of dissolved oxygen (O2) from the surface ocean into the interior is a critical process sustaining aerobic life in mesopelagic ecosystems, but its rates and sensitivity to climate variations are poorly understood. Using a circulation model constrained to historical variability by assimilation of observations, the study shows that the North Pacific thermocline effectively takes up O2 primarily by expanding the area through which O2-rich mixed layer water is detrained into the thermocline. The outcrop area during the critical winter season varies in concert with the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). When the central North Pacific Ocean is in a cold phase, the winter outcrop window for the central mode water class (CMW; a neutral density range of γ = 25.6–26.6) expands southward, allowing more O2-rich surface water to enter the ocean’s interior. An increase in volume flux of water to the CMW density class is partly compensated by a reduced supply to the shallower densities of subtropical mode water (γ = 24.0–25.5). The thermocline has become better oxygenated since the 1980s partly because of strong O2 uptake. Positive O2 anomalies appear first near the outcrop and subsequently downstream in the subtropical gyre. In contrast to the O2 variations within the ventilated thermocline, observed O2 in intermediate water (density range of γ = 26.7–27.2) shows a declining trend over the past half century, a trend not explained by the open ocean water mass formation rate.

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Jae-Yul Yun, Kyung-Il Chang, Kwang-Yul Kim, Yang-Ki Cho, Kyung-Ae Park, and Lorenz Magaard

Abstract

This study first detects the decadal variability in the depths of the East/Japan Sea (EJS) Intermediate Water (ESIW) using in situ observations and relates it to strong El Niño–Southern Oscillations (ENSOs). Using multitaper cross-spectrum and cyclostationary empirical orthogonal function analysis, this study found significant coherences at the 99% confidence level and opposite phases between Niño-3 and the ESIW isopycnal depths in the Ulleung Basin (UB) at a period of 14.1 yr during 1968–2002. This suggests a teleconnection between strong ENSOs and the ESIW, the cause of which is explored. When a strong El Niño (EN) develops, the Pacific–North American pattern is intensified by the EN-related Rossby wave interfering constructively with the climatological stationary wave. The amplified wave propagates upward into the stratosphere and breaks, weakening the polar vortex. The EN-related geopotential height increases over the pole with poleward converging air and decreases over the Yakutsk Basin (YB), indicating a negative northern annular mode with the south-to-north gradient balancing the easterly anomaly that responds to vortex weakening. The converged air at the pole warms adiabatically and raises the height as it sinks. This height distribution, including the east-to-west gradient balancing the southward flow, induces the polar vortex split into two with the colder one in the YB where the EJS is closer than from the pole. The EN-related northwesterly wind directing toward the EJS is also strong. Thus, the coldest air with negative wind stress curls reaches the EJS quickly and forms more ESIW, which converges into the UB, causing the observed decadal isopycnal fluctuations.

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Ho Jin Lee, Jae-Hun Park, Mark Wimbush, Kyung Tae Jung, Chan Joo Jang, Yang-Ki Cho, Young-Kyo Seo, and Jong Ho Nam

Abstract

Although tides are believed to be the most important source for diapycnal mixing in the ocean, few studies have directly simulated open-ocean circulation including tides. Because the East/Japan Sea (EJS) has been considered to be a “miniature ocean,” tidal effects on the intermediate water of the EJS are investigated by using an eddy-resolving ocean general circulation model that can take account of M 2 and K 1 tides as well as oceanic flows. The simulated temperature and salinity in the intermediate layer are significantly improved by including tides. The improvement results from the combined effect of two internal tides. The M 2 internal tide, propagating into the interior of the EJS, enhances vertical mixing and brings watermass characteristics closer to those observed. The K 1 internal tide, trapped along the coast, induces southwestward flow along the Russian coast in the upper layer and thereby enhances the so-called Liman Current, which transports fresh waters with density conducive to the ventilation of intermediate waters in the EJS.

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Jhoon Kim, Ukkyo Jeong, Myoung-Hwan Ahn, Jae H. Kim, Rokjin J. Park, Hanlim Lee, Chul Han Song, Yong-Sang Choi, Kwon-Ho Lee, Jung-Moon Yoo, Myeong-Jae Jeong, Seon Ki Park, Kwang-Mog Lee, Chang-Keun Song, Sang-Woo Kim, Young Joon Kim, Si-Wan Kim, Mijin Kim, Sujung Go, Xiong Liu, Kelly Chance, Christopher Chan Miller, Jay Al-Saadi, Ben Veihelmann, Pawan K. Bhartia, Omar Torres, Gonzalo González Abad, David P. Haffner, Dai Ho Ko, Seung Hoon Lee, Jung-Hun Woo, Heesung Chong, Sang Seo Park, Dennis Nicks, Won Jun Choi, Kyung-Jung Moon, Ara Cho, Jongmin Yoon, Sang-kyun Kim, Hyunkee Hong, Kyunghwa Lee, Hana Lee, Seoyoung Lee, Myungje Choi, Pepijn Veefkind, Pieternel F. Levelt, David P. Edwards, Mina Kang, Mijin Eo, Juseon Bak, Kanghyun Baek, Hyeong-Ahn Kwon, Jiwon Yang, Junsung Park, Kyung Man Han, Bo-Ram Kim, Hee-Woo Shin, Haklim Choi, Ebony Lee, Jihyo Chong, Yesol Cha, Ja-Ho Koo, Hitoshi Irie, Sachiko Hayashida, Yasko Kasai, Yugo Kanaya, Cheng Liu, Jintai Lin, James H. Crawford, Gregory R. Carmichael, Michael J. Newchurch, Barry L. Lefer, Jay R. Herman, Robert J. Swap, Alexis K. H. Lau, Thomas P. Kurosu, Glen Jaross, Berit Ahlers, Marcel Dobber, C. Thomas McElroy, and Yunsoo Choi

Abstract

The Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer (GEMS) is scheduled for launch in February 2020 to monitor air quality (AQ) at an unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution from a geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) for the first time. With the development of UV–visible spectrometers at sub-nm spectral resolution and sophisticated retrieval algorithms, estimates of the column amounts of atmospheric pollutants (O3, NO2, SO2, HCHO, CHOCHO, and aerosols) can be obtained. To date, all the UV–visible satellite missions monitoring air quality have been in low Earth orbit (LEO), allowing one to two observations per day. With UV–visible instruments on GEO platforms, the diurnal variations of these pollutants can now be determined. Details of the GEMS mission are presented, including instrumentation, scientific algorithms, predicted performance, and applications for air quality forecasts through data assimilation. GEMS will be on board the Geostationary Korea Multi-Purpose Satellite 2 (GEO-KOMPSAT-2) satellite series, which also hosts the Advanced Meteorological Imager (AMI) and Geostationary Ocean Color Imager 2 (GOCI-2). These three instruments will provide synergistic science products to better understand air quality, meteorology, the long-range transport of air pollutants, emission source distributions, and chemical processes. Faster sampling rates at higher spatial resolution will increase the probability of finding cloud-free pixels, leading to more observations of aerosols and trace gases than is possible from LEO. GEMS will be joined by NASA’s Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) and ESA’s Sentinel-4 to form a GEO AQ satellite constellation in early 2020s, coordinated by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS).

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