Xu, X., Chassignet, E. P., Firing, Y. L., & Donohue, K. (2020). Antarctic Circumpolar Current transport through Drake Passage: What can we learn from comparing high-resolution model results to observations?
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 125(7).
Abstract: Uncertainty exists in the time‐mean total transport of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), the world�s strongest ocean current. The two most recent observational programs in Drake Passage, DRAKE and cDrake, yielded transports of 141 and 173.3 Sv, respectively. In this paper, we use a realistic 1/12° global ocean simulation to interpret these observational estimates and reconcile their differences. We first show that the modeled ACC transport in the upper 1000 m is in excellent agreement with repeat shipboard acoustic Doppler current profiler (SADCP) transects and that the exponentially decaying transport profile in the model is consistent with the profile derived from repeat hydrographic data. By further comparing the model results to the cDrake and DRAKE observations, we argue that the modeled 157.3 Sv transport, i.e. approximately the average of the cDrake and DRAKE estimates, is actually representative of the time‐mean ACC transport through the Drake Passage. The cDrake experiment overestimated the barotropic contribution in part because the array undersampled the deep recirculation southwest of the Shackleton Fracture Zone, whereas the surface geostrophic currents used in the DRAKE estimate yielded a weaker near‐surface transport than implied by the SADCP data. We also find that the modeled baroclinic and barotropic transports are not correlated, thus monitoring either baroclinic or barotropic transport alone may be insufficient to assess the temporal variability of the total ACC transport.
Nyadjro, E. S., Rydbeck, A. V., Jensen, T. G., Richman, J. G., & Shriver, J. F. (2020). On the Generation and Salinity Impacts of Intraseasonal Westward Jets in the Equatorial Indian Ocean.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 125(6), e2020JC016066.
Abstract: While westerly winds dominate the equatorial Indian Ocean and generate the well‐known eastward flowing Wyrtki Jets during boreal spring and fall, there is evidence of a strong westward surface jet during winter that is swifter than eastward currents during that season. A weaker westward jet is found in summer. In this study, we report the occurrence, characteristics, and intraseasonal variability of this westward jet and its impact on mixed layer salinity in the equatorial Indian Ocean using the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) reanalysis with the Navy Coupled Ocean Data Assimilation (NCODA). The westward jet typically occurs in the upper 50 m, above an eastward flowing equatorial undercurrent, with peak westward volume transport of approximately −8 Sv. The westward jet builds up gradually, decays rapidly, and is primarily forced by local intraseasonal wind stress anomalies generated by atmospheric intraseasonal convection. Westward acceleration of the jet occurs when the dominant intraseasonal westward wind anomaly is not balanced by the zonal pressure gradient (ZPG) force. The intraseasonal westward jet generates strong horizontal advection and is the leading cause of mixed layer freshening in the western equatorial Indian Ocean. Without it, a saltier mixed layer would persist and weaken any barrier layers. Existing barrier layers are strengthened following the passage of freshwater‐laden westward jets. Deceleration of the westward jet occurs when the eastward ZPG becomes increasingly important and the westward intraseasonal wind anomalies weaken. A rapid reversal of atmospheric intraseasonal convection‐driven surface winds eventually terminates the westward jet.
Karmakar, N., & Misra, V. (2019). Differences in Northward Propagation of Convection Over the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal During Boreal Summer.
J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 125(3).
Abstract: The governing dynamics that modulate the propagation characteristics of intraseasonal oscillations (ISO) during summer monsoon over the two ocean basins, Bay of Bengal (BoB) and Arabian Sea (AS), are investigated using observational analysis and high‐resolution regional coupled ocean‐atmosphere climate model simulations. ISO features are extracted over the Indian region using a data‐adaptive spectral method called multichannel singular spectrum analysis. ISO exhibits stronger intensity over the BoB than over the AS. But ISO‐filtered rainfall propagates at a faster rate ( urn:x-wiley:jgrd:media:jgrd55983:jgrd55983-math-00011.25°/day) over AS as compared to BoB ( urn:x-wiley:jgrd:media:jgrd55983:jgrd55983-math-0002.74°/day), giving rise to a northwest‐southeast tilted band of rainfall anomalies. However, the composite diagrams of several atmospheric fields associated with northward propagation like vorticity, low‐level convergence, and oceanic variables like sea surface temperature and mixed layer depth do not show this difference in propagation speed and all exhibit a speed of nearly 0.75°/day in both the ocean basins. The difference in speed of ISO‐filtered rainfall is explained through moisture flux convergence. Anomalous horizontal moisture advection plays a major role over AS in preconditioning the atmosphere and making it favorable for convection. Anomalous wind acting on climatological moisture gradient is the dominant term in the moisture advection equation. Easterly wind anomalies associated with a low‐level anticyclone over India helps advect moisture from the eastern side of the domain. The northwest‐southeast tilt of ISO is dictated by the atmospheric processes of moisture advection with the upper ocean playing a more passive role in causing the tilt.
Ajayi, A., Le Sommer, J., Chassignet, E., Molines, J. - M., Xu, X., Albert, A., et al. (2020). Spatial and Temporal Variability of the North Atlantic Eddy Field From Two Kilometric-Resolution Ocean Models.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 125(5).
Abstract: Ocean circulation is dominated by turbulent geostrophic eddy fields with typical scales ranging from 10 to 300 km. At mesoscales (>50 km), the size of eddy structures varies regionally following the Rossby radius of deformation. The variability of the scale of smaller eddies is not well known due to the limitations in existing numerical simulations and satellite capability. Nevertheless, it is well established that oceanic flows (<50 km) generally exhibit strong seasonality. In this study, we present a basin‐scale analysis of coherent structures down to 10 km in the North Atlantic Ocean using two submesoscale‐permitting ocean models, a NEMO‐based North Atlantic simulation with a horizontal resolution of 1/60 (NATL60) and an HYCOM‐based Atlantic simulation with a horizontal resolution of 1/50 (HYCOM50). We investigate the spatial and temporal variability of the scale of eddy structures with a particular focus on eddies with scales of 10 to 100 km, and examine the impact of the seasonality of submesoscale energy on the seasonality and distribution of coherent structures in the North Atlantic. Our results show an overall good agreement between the two models in terms of surface wave number spectra and seasonal variability. The key findings of the paper are that (i) the mean size of ocean eddies show strong seasonality; (ii) this seasonality is associated with an increased population of submesoscale eddies (10�50 km) in winter; and (iii) the net release of available potential energy associated with mixed layer instability is responsible for the emergence of the increased population of submesoscale eddies in wintertime.
Jackson, L. C., Dubois, C., Forget, G., Haines, K., Harrison, M., Iovino, D., et al. (2019). The Mean State and Variability of the North Atlantic Circulation: A Perspective From Ocean Reanalyses.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 124(12), 8969–9003.
Abstract: The transfer of Indian Ocean thermocline and intermediate waters into the South Atlantic via the Agulhas leakage is generally believed to be primarily accomplished through mesoscale eddy processes, essentially anticyclones known as Agulhas Rings. Here we take advantage of a recent eddy tracking algorithm and Argo float profiles to study the evolution and the thermohaline structure of one of these eddies over the course of 1.5 years (May 2013–November 2014). We found that during this period the ring evolved according to two different phases: During the first one, taking place in winter, the mixing layer in the eddy deepened significantly. During the second phase, the eddy subsided below the upper warmer layer of the South Atlantic subtropical gyre while propagating west. The separation of this eddy from the sea surface could explain the decrease in its surface signature in satellite altimetry maps, suggesting that such changes are not due to eddy dissipation processes. It is a very large eddy (7.1×1013 m3 in volume), extending, after subduction, from a depth of 200–1,200 m and characterized by two mode water cores. The two mode water cores represent the largest eddy heat and salt anomalies when compared with the surrounding. In terms of its impact over 1 year, the north‐westward propagation of this long‐lived anticyclone induces a transport of 2.2 Sv of water, 0.008 PW of heat, and 2.2×105 kg s−1 of salt. These results confirm that Agulhas Rings play a very important role in the Indo‐Atlantic interocean exchange of heat and salt.
Karmakar, N., & Misra, V. (2019). The Relation of Intraseasonal Variations With Local Onset and Demise of the Indian Summer Monsoon.
J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 124(5), 2483–2506.
Abstract: Two of the most important hydroclimatic features of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) rainfall are its onset/demise and Intraseasonal Oscillations (ISOs) manifested by the active‐break cycles. In this study, we aim to understand the quantitative association between these two phenomena. An objective definition of local onset/demise of the ISM based on more than a century‐long India Meteorological Department (IMD) rain‐gauge observation is taken into consideration. Using multichannel singular spectrum analysis (MSSA) we isolate northward propagating low‐ (20–60 days; LF‐ISO) and northwestward propagating high‐ (10–20 days; HF‐ISO) frequency ISOs from the daily ISM rainfall. Our results suggest that a large number of local onset (59%) and demise (62%) events occur during positive developing phases and positive decaying phases of two ISOs, respectively, with phase‐locking between LF‐ISO and HF‐ISO being particularly important. Local onset is largely associated with favorable phases of ISOs across India except for LF‐ISO over eastern India and HF‐ISO over western Ghats and central India (CI). We find that local demise is more coherent with the ISO phases, especially with HF‐ISO across the domain. We performed a case study to understand large‐scale association with the onset of the ISM over CI. In 44 of total 58 cases (1948–2005), when CI onset occurred during favorable LF‐ISO or HF‐ISO phase, they are either linked with a northward propagation of convection from the equator in LF‐ISO timescale (28 cases) or westward propagating structures from the western Pacific in HF‐ISO timescale (27 cases).
Nelson, A. D., Arbic, B. K., Zaron, E. D., Savage, A. C., Richman, J. G., Buijsman, M. C., et al. (2019). Toward Realistic Nonstationarity of Semidiurnal Baroclinic Tides in a Hydrodynamic Model.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 124(9), 6632–6641.
Abstract: Semidiurnal baroclinic tide sea surface height (SSH) variance and semidiurnal nonstationary variance fraction (SNVF) are compared between a hydrodynamic model and altimetry for the low- to middle-latitude global ocean. Tidal frequencies are aliased by similar to 10-day altimeter sampling, which makes it impossible to unambiguously identify nonstationary tidal signals from the observations. In order to better understand altimeter sampling artifacts, the model was analyzed using its native hourly outputs and by subsampling it in the same manner as altimeters. Different estimates of the semidiurnal nonstationary and total SSH variance are obtained with the model depending on whether they are identified in the frequency domain or wave number domain and depending on the temporal sampling of the model output. Five sources of ambiguity in the interpretation of the altimetry are identified and briefly discussed. When the model and altimetry are analyzed in the same manner, they display qualitatively similar spatial patterns of semidiurnal baroclinic tides. The SNVF typically correlates above 80% at all latitudes between the different analysis methods and above 60% between the model and altimetry. The choice of analysis methodology was found to have a profound effect on estimates of the semidiurnal baroclinic SSH variance with the wave number domain methodology underestimating the semidiurnal nonstationary and total SSH variances by 68% and 66%, respectively. These results produce a SNVF estimate from altimetry that is biased low by a factor of 0.92. This bias is primarily a consequence of the ambiguity in the separation of tidal and mesoscale signals in the wave number domain.
Dukhovskoy, D. S., Yashayaev, I., Proshutinsky, A., Bamber, J. L., Bashmachnikov, I. L., Chassignet, E. P., et al. (2019). Role of Greenland Freshwater Anomaly in the Recent Freshening of the Subpolar North Atlantic.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 124(5), 3333–3360.
Abstract: The cumulative Greenland freshwater flux anomaly has exceeded 5000 km3 since the 1990s. The volume of this surplus fresh water is expected to cause substantial freshening in the North Atlantic. Analysis of hydrographic observations in the subpolar seas reveal freshening signals in the 2010s. The sources of this freshening are yet to be determined. In this study, the relationship between the surplus Greenland freshwater flux and this freshening is tested by analyzing the propagation of the Greenland freshwater anomaly and its impact on salinity in the subpolar North Atlantic based on observational data and numerical experiments with and without the Greenland runoff. A passive tracer is continuously released during the simulations at freshwater sources along the coast of Greenland to track the Greenland freshwater anomaly. Tracer budget analysis shows that 44% of the volume of the Greenland freshwater anomaly is retained in the subpolar North Atlantic by the end of the simulation. This volume is sufficient to cause strong freshening in the subpolar seas if it stays in the upper 50�100 m. However, in the model the anomaly is mixed down to several hundred meters of the water column resulting in smaller magnitudes of freshening compared to the observations. Therefore, the simulations suggest that the accelerated Greenland melting would not be sufficient to cause the observed freshening in the subpolar seas and other sources of fresh water have contributed to the freshening. Impacts on salinity in the subpolar seas of the freshwater transport through Fram Strait and precipitation are discussed.
Wang, S., Kranz, S. A., Kelly, T. B., Song, H., Stukel, M. R., & Cassar, N. (2020). Lagrangian Studies of Net Community Production: The Effect of Diel and Multiday Nonsteady State Factors and Vertical Fluxes on O
2/Ar in a Dynamic Upwelling Region. J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci., 125(6), e2019JG005569.
Abstract: The ratio of dissolved oxygen to argon in seawater is frequently employed to estimate rates of net community production (NCP) in the oceanic mixed layer. The in situ O2/Ar‐based method accounts for many physical factors that influence oxygen concentrations, permitting isolation of the biological oxygen signal produced by the balance of photosynthesis and respiration. However, this technique traditionally relies upon several assumptions when calculating the mixed‐layer O2/Ar budget, most notably the absence of vertical fluxes of O2/Ar and the principle that the air‐sea gas exchange of biological oxygen closely approximates net productivity rates. Employing a Lagrangian study design and leveraging data outputs from a regional physical oceanographic model, we conducted in situ measurements of O2/Ar in the California Current Ecosystem in spring 2016 and summer 2017 to evaluate these assumptions within a �worst‐case� field environment. Quantifying vertical fluxes, incorporating nonsteady state changes in O2/Ar, and comparing NCP estimates evaluated over several day versus longer timescales, we find differences in NCP metrics calculated over different time intervals to be considerable, also observing significant potential effects from vertical fluxes, particularly advection. Additionally, we observe strong diel variability in O2/Ar and NCP rates at multiple stations. Our results reemphasize the importance of accounting for vertical fluxes when interpreting O2/Ar‐derived NCP data and the potentially large effect of nonsteady state conditions on NCP evaluated over shorter timescales. In addition, diel cycles in surface O2/Ar can also bias interpretation of NCP data based on local productivity and the time of day when measurements were made.
Xu, X., Bower, A., Furey, H., & Chassignet, E. P. (2018). Variability of the Iceland-Scotland Overflow Water Transport Through the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone: Results From an Eddying Simulation and Observations.
J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, (8).
Abstract: Observations show that the westward transport of the Iceland‐Scotland overflow water (ISOW) through the Charlie‐Gibbs Fracture Zone (CGFZ) is highly variable. This study examines (a) where this variability comes from and (b) how it is related to the variability of ISOW transport at upstream locations in the Iceland Basin and other ISOW flow pathways. The analyses are based on a 35‐year 1/12° eddying Atlantic simulation that represents well the main features of the observed ISOW in the area of interest, in particular, the transport variability through the CGFZ. The results show that (a) the variability of the ISOW transport is closely correlated with that of the barotropic transports in the CGFZ associated with the meridional displacement of the North Atlantic Current front and is possibly induced by fluctuations of large‐scale zonal wind stress in the Western European Basin east of the CGFZ; (b) the variability of the ISOW transport is increased by a factor of 3 from the northern part of the Iceland Basin to the CGFZ region and transport time series at these two locations are not correlated, further suggesting that the variability at the CGFZ does not come from the upstream source; and (c) the variability of the ISOW transport at the CGFZ is strongly anticorrelated to that of the southward ISOW transport along the eastern flank of the Mid‐Atlantic Ridge, suggesting an out‐of‐phase covarying transport between these two ISOW pathways.