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.
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.
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.
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.
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.