Guerra, L. A. A., Paiva, A. M., & Chassignet, E. P. (2018). On the translation of Agulhas rings to the western South Atlantic Ocean.
Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 139, 104–113.
Abstract: The shedding of Agulhas rings is the primary process connecting the Indian and Atlantic oceans. The rings transport warm and salty waters that feed the surface limb of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Early studies suggest that Agulhas rings decay and diffuse their contents within the South Atlantic subtropical gyre. In this paper, we update the ring census using an automated algorithm to detect and track eddies over more than 23 years of satellite altimetry data (1993-2016) and calculate their main characteristics. While 140 rings spawned from the Agulhas Retroflection, their following splitting and merging resulted in 74 long-lived rings that crossed the Walvis Ridge and translated towards the west. Eventually, three rings reached the western boundary. For one of them, we use in situ measurements to document its interaction with the Brazil Current and two cyclonic eddies, which resulted in a current velocity increase by three times. Although already hypothesized, this interaction had not been demonstrated with in situ evidence until now.
Holbach, H. M., Uhlhorn, E. W., & Bourassa, M. A. (2018). Off-Nadir SFMR Brightness Temperature Measurements in High-Wind Conditions.
J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 35(9), 1865–1879.
Abstract: Wind and wave-breaking directions are investigated as potential sources of an asymmetry identified in off-nadir remotely sensed measurements of ocean surface brightness temperatures obtained by the Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer (SFMR) in high-wind conditions, including in tropical cyclones. Surface wind speed, which dynamically couples the atmosphere and ocean, can be inferred from SFMR ocean surface brightness temperature measurements using a radiative transfer model and an inversion algorithm. The accuracy of the ocean surface brightness temperature to wind speed calibration relies on accurate knowledge of the surface variables that are influencing the ocean surface brightness temperature. Previous studies have identified wind direction signals in horizontally polarized radiometer measurements in low to moderate (0�20 m s−1) wind conditions over a wide range of incidence angles. This study finds that the azimuthal asymmetry in the off-nadir SFMR brightness temperature measurements is also likely a function of wind direction and extends the results of these previous studies to high-wind conditions. The off-nadir measurements from the SFMR provide critical data for improving the understanding of the relationships between brightness temperature, surface wave�breaking direction, and surface wind vectors at various incidence angles, which is extremely useful for the development of geophysical model functions for instruments like the Hurricane Imaging Radiometer (HIRAD).
Hu, X., Cai, M., Yang, S., & Wu, Z. (2018). Delineation of thermodynamic and dynamic responses to sea surface temperature forcing associated with El Niño.
Clim Dyn, 51(11-12), 4329–4344.
Abstract: A new framework is proposed to gain a better understanding of the response of the atmosphere over the tropical Pacific to the radiative heating anomaly associated with the sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly in canonical El Niño winters. The new framework is based on the equilibrium balance between thermal radiative cooling anomalies associated with air temperature response to SST anomalies and other thermodynamic and dynamic processes. The air temperature anomalies in the lower troposphere are mainly in response to radiative heating anomalies associated with SST, atmospheric water vapor, and cloud anomalies that all exhibit similar spatial patterns. As a result, air temperature induced thermal radiative cooling anomalies would balance out most of the radiative heating anomalies in the lower troposphere. The remaining part of the radiative heating anomalies is then taken away by an enhancement (a reduction) of upward energy transport in the central-eastern (western) Pacific basin, a secondary contribution to the air temperature anomalies in the lower troposphere. Above the middle troposphere, radiative effect due to water vapor feedback is weak. Thermal radiative cooling anomalies are mainly in balance with the sum of latent heating anomalies, vertical and horizontal energy transport anomalies associated with atmospheric dynamic response and the radiative heating anomalies due to changes in cloud. The pattern of Gill-type response is attributed mainly to the non-radiative heating anomalies associated with convective and large-scale energy transport. The radiative heating anomalies associated with the anomalies of high clouds also contribute positively to the Gill-type response. This sheds some light on why the Gill-type atmospheric response can be easily identifiable in the upper atmosphere.
Kelly, T. B. (2018).
Spatial and interannual variability in export efficiency and the biological pump in an eastern boundary current upwelling system with substantial lateral advection. Master's thesis, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
LaCasce, J. H., Escartin, J., Chassignet, E. P., & Xu, X. (2018). Jet instability over smooth, corrugated and realistic bathymetry.
J. Phys. Oceanogr., .
Abstract: The stability of a horizontally- and vertically-sheared surface jet is examined, with a focus on the vertical structure of the resultant eddies. Over a flat bottom, the instability is mixed baroclinic/barotropic, producing strong eddies at depth which are characteristically shifted downstream relative to the surface eddies. Baroclinic instability is suppressed over a large slope for retrograde jets (with a flow anti-parallel to topographic wave propagation), and to a lesser extent for prograde jets (with flow parallel to topographic wave propagation), as seen previously. In such cases, barotropic (lateral) instability dominates if the jet is sufficiently narrow. This yields surface eddies whose size is independent of the slope but proportional to the jet width. Deep eddies still form, forced by interfacial motion associated with the surface eddies, but they are weaker than under baroclinic instability and are vertically aligned with the surface eddies. A sinusoidal ridge acts similarly, suppressing baroclinic instability and favoring lateral instability in the upper layer.
A ridge with a 1 km wavelength and an amplitude of roughly 10 m is sufficient to suppress baroclinic instability. Surveys of bottom roughness from bathymetry acquired with shipboard multibeam echosounding reveal that such heights are common, beneath the Kuroshio, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and, to a lesser extent, the Gulf Stream. Consistent with this, vorticity and velocity cross sections from a 1/50° HYCOM simulation suggest that Gulf Stream eddies are vertically aligned, as in the linear stability calculations with strong topography. Thus lateral instability may be more common than previously thought, due to topography hindering vertical energy transfer.
Le Sommer, J., Chassignet, E.P., Wallcraft, A.J. (2018). Ocean Circulation Modeling for Operational Oceanography: Current Status and Future Challenges. In
New Frontiers in Operational Oceanography (pp. 289–305).
Misra, V., Bhardwaj, A., & Mishra, A. (2018). Characterizing the rainy season of Peninsular Florida.
Clim Dyn, 51(5-6), 2157–2167.
Abstract: Peninsular Florida (PF) has a very distinct wet season that can be objectively defined with onset and demise dates based on daily rainfall. The dramatic onset of rains and its retreat coincides with the seasonal cycle of the regional scale atmospheric and upper ocean circulations and upper ocean heat content of the immediate surrounding ocean. The gradual warming of the Intra-Americas Seas (IAS; includes Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and parts of northwestern subtropical Atlantic Ocean) with the seasonal evolution of the Loop Current and increased atmospheric heat flux in to the ocean eventually enhance the moisture flux into terrestrial PF around the time of the onset of the Rainy Season of PF (RSPF). Similarly, the RSPF retreats with the cooling of the IAS that coincides with the weakening of the Loop Current and reduction of the upper ocean heat content of the IAS. It is also shown that anomalous onset and demise dates of the RSPF have implications on its seasonal rainfall anomalies.
Stukel, M. R., Décima, M., Landry, M. R., & Selph, K. E. (2018). Nitrogen and isotope flows through the Costa Rica Dome upwelling ecosystem: The crucial mesozooplankton role in export flux.
Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 32(11), 1621–1717.
Abstract: The Costa Rica Dome (CRD) is an open-ocean upwelling ecosystem, with high biomasses of picophytoplankton (especially Synechococcus), mesozooplankton, and higher trophic levels. To elucidate the food web pathways supporting the trophic structure and carbon export in this unique ecosystem, we used Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques to assimilate data from four independent realizations of δ15N and planktonic rate measurements from the CRD into steady state, multicompartment ecosystem box models (linear inverse models). Model results present well-constrained snapshots of ecosystem nitrogen and stable isotope fluxes. New production is supported by upwelled nitrate, not nitrogen fixation. Protistivory (rather than herbivory) was the most important feeding mode for mesozooplankton, which rely heavily on microzooplankton prey. Mesozooplankton play a central role in vertical nitrogen export, primarily through active transport of nitrogen consumed in the surface layer and excreted at depth, which comprised an average 36-46% of total export. Detritus or aggregate feeding is also an important mode of resource acquisition by mesozooplankton and regeneration of nutrients within the euphotic zone. As a consequence, the ratio of passively sinking particle export to phytoplankton production is very low in the CRD. Comparisons to similar models constrained with data from the nearby equatorial Pacific demonstrate that the dominant role of vertical migrators to the biological pump is a unique feature of the CRD. However, both regions show efficient nitrogen transfer from mesozooplankton to higher trophic levels (as expected for regions with large fish, cetacean, and seabird populations) despite the dominance of protists as major grazers of phytoplankton.
Xu, X., & Chassignet, E. P., Wang, F. (2018). On the variability of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation transports in coupled CMIP5 simulations.
Clim Dyn., 51(327), 1–21.
Abstract: The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) plays a fundamental role in the climate system, and long-term climate simulations are used to understand the AMOC variability and to assess its impact. This study examines the basic characteristics of the AMOC variability in 44 CMIP5 (Phase 5 of the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project) simulations, using the 18 atmospherically-forced CORE-II (Phase 2 of the Coordinated Ocean-ice Reference Experiment) simulations as a reference. The analysis shows that on interannual and decadal timescales, the AMOC variability in the CMIP5 exhibits a similar magnitude and meridional coherence as in the CORE-II simulations, indicating that the modeled atmospheric variability responsible for AMOC variability in the CMIP5 is in reasonable agreement with the CORE-II forcing. On multidecadal timescales, however, the AMOC variability is weaker by a factor of more than 2 and meridionally less coherent in the CMIP5 than in the CORE-II simulations. The CMIP5 simulations also exhibit a weaker long-term atmospheric variability in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). However, one cannot fully attribute the weaker AMOC variability to the weaker variability in NAO because, unlike the CORE-II simulations, the CMIP5 simulations do not exhibit a robust NAO-AMOC linkage. While the variability of the wintertime heat flux and mixed layer depth in the western subpolar North Atlantic is strongly linked to the AMOC variability, the NAO variability is not.