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Jing Duan
,
Yuanlong Li
,
Lei Zhang
, and
Fan Wang

scales (e.g., Han et al. 2014 ; Hu et al. 2015 ; Merrifield 2011 ; Qiu and Joyce 1992 ; Qiu and Chen 2012 ). In this region, sea level also tends to covary with the upper-ocean circulation on these time scales, characteristic of the first-mode baroclinic response to the tropical Pacific wind forcing (e.g., Meyers 1979 ; Kessler 1990 ; Qiu and Lukas 1996 ; Qiu and Chen 2010 ) associated with natural climate modes such as El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) ( Cazenave and Remy 2011 ; Han et

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Yilong Lyu
,
Yuanlong Li
,
Jianing Wang
,
Jing Duan
,
Xiaohui Tang
,
Chuanyu Liu
,
Linlin Zhang
,
Qiang Ma
, and
Fan Wang

1. Introduction The upper-layer circulation of the western equatorial Pacific Ocean (WEPO) is complex in structure and highly variable on a wide range of time scales. It consists of the zonal equatorial currents such as the westward-flowing South Equatorial Current (SEC) in the surface layer and the eastward-flowing Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) in the thermocline (e.g., Wyrtki and Kendall 1967 ; Wyrtki 1974 ; Kessler and Taft 1987 ; Delcroix et al. 1992 ; Reverdin et al. 1994 ; Reid 1997

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J. Nycander
,
J. Nilsson
,
K. Döös
, and
G. Broström

1. Introduction Is the ocean circulation thermally or mechanically forced? Already a century ago, Sandström (1908) concluded from his laboratory experiments that the heating and cooling at the ocean surface by itself would not be able to excite a circulation in the interior of the ocean. His arguments were elaborated by Jeffreys (1925) and Defant (1961) , who concluded that the circulation must be mechanically forced. Nevertheless, for a long time, a widespread view among oceanographers

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Dongliang Yuan
,
Zhichun Zhang
,
Peter C. Chu
, and
William K. Dewar

1. Introduction The alternating zonal currents of the low-latitude North Pacific Ocean have long been recognized by the oceanographic community based on ship drift data and sporadic hydrographic surveys ( Schott 1939 ; Reid 1961 ; Wyrtki 1961 ). The upper-ocean circulation was suggested by Sverdrup (1947) to be forced by the curl of the wind stress through the so-called Sverdrup balance. The theory assumes a linear dynamic framework and has obtained the meridional transport of the wind

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Raffaele Ferrari
,
Louis-Philippe Nadeau
,
David P. Marshall
,
Lesley C. Allison
, and
Helen L. Johnson

1. Introduction The global ocean overturning circulation is a key element of Earth’s climate system and the ocean biogeochemical cycles through its transport of heat, carbon, and nutrients both across latitudes and from one ocean basin to another through the Southern Ocean. Most idealized models and theories of the overturning circulation focus on the zonally averaged transports and ignore the zonal transports. Here we extend those models to capture the zonal interbasin exchanges through the

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Qiuxian Li
,
Yiyong Luo
,
Jian Lu
, and
Fukai Liu

relative roles of mean ocean circulation and ocean circulation change in the uptake and storage of heat in the Southern Ocean remain controversial. For example, using an ocean-only model forced with a spatially uniform surface flux, Marshall et al. (2015) and Armour et al. (2016) found that the climatological meridional overturning circulation of the Southern Ocean controls the response patterns of ocean heat uptake and storage, while the changes in ocean circulation play a secondary role. Several

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Kun Zhang
,
Qiang Wang
,
Baoshu Yin
,
Dezhou Yang
, and
Lina Yang

1. Introduction Ocean circulation regulates global climate and marine ecosystems by storing and redistributing mass and energy (e.g., carbon, freshwater, nutrients, and heat). Therefore, theories attempting to explain large-scale, time-averaged ocean circulation have attracted substantial attention and have been discussed for several decades. Under a linear dynamic framework, Sverdrup (1947) established a simple yet powerful balance [the Sverdrup balance (SB)] between meridional

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Kristofer Döös
,
Joakim Kjellsson
,
Jan Zika
,
Frédéric Laliberté
,
Laurent Brodeau
, and
Aitor Aldama Campino

1. Introduction The oceanic thermohaline circulation and the global atmospheric circulation are generally analyzed as two separate systems although they influence each other through the surface of the ocean. In the present work both are represented in thermodynamic coordinates and linked to each other. We analyze and visualize how the ocean and atmosphere are closely acting together as a number of overturning cells, expressing the mixing of air and water masses. To do so we use two recently

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Maxim Nikurashin
and
Geoffrey Vallis

1. Introduction This paper tries to make progress in the problem of understanding the deep stratification and associated overturning circulation in the ocean. In addition to being a fundamental aspect of the Earth’s ocean the deep structure is of direct importance to the climate system; however, compared to some other aspects of the large-scale ocean circulation, it has been inadequately studied and is rather poorly understood. Here, we present a simple theoretical model (or theory, for short

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Gaëlle de Coëtlogon
,
Claude Frankignoul
,
Mats Bentsen
,
Claire Delon
,
Helmuth Haak
,
Simona Masina
, and
Anne Pardaens

hydrographic sections, Sato and Rossby (1995) estimated that the decrease in the baroclinic transport was 6 Sv for the same period of time, and they found that their best sample pentads were within 4 Sv of each other. Curry and McCartney (2001) gave observational evidence that the interannual-to-interdecadal variability of the intensity of the North Atlantic gyre circulation largely reflected the integral response of the ocean to the NAO forcing in the subtropical and subpolar gyres, but the

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