Mean circulation and variability of the tropical Atlantic during 1952-2001 in the GECCO assimilation field.

Rabe, Benjamin, Schott, Friedrich and Köhl, Armin (2008) Mean circulation and variability of the tropical Atlantic during 1952-2001 in the GECCO assimilation field. Open Access Journal of Physical Oceanography, 38 (1). pp. 177-192. DOI 10.1175/2007JPO3541.1.

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Abstract

The shallow subtropical–tropical cells (STC) of the Atlantic Ocean have been studied from the output fields of a 50-yr run of the German partner of the Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (GECCO) consortium assimilation model. Comparison of GECCO with time-mean observational estimates of density and meridional currents at 10°S and 10°N, which represent the boundaries between the tropics and subtropics in GECCO, shows good agreement in transports of major currents. The variability of the GECCO wind stress in the interior at 10°S and 10°N remains consistent with the NCEP forcing, although temporary changes can be large. On pentadal and longer time scales, an STC loop response is found between the poleward Ekman divergence and STC-layer convergence at 10°S and 10°N via the Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) at 23°W, where the divergence leads the EUC and the convergence, suggesting a “pulling” mechanism via equatorial upwelling. The divergence is also associated with changes in the eastern equatorial upper-ocean heat content. Within the STC layer, partial compensation of the western boundary current (WBC) and the interior occurs at 10°S and 10°N. For the meridional overturning circulation (MOC) at 10°S it is found that more than one-half of the variability in the upper limb can be explained by the WBC. The explained MOC variance can be increased to 85% by including the geostrophic (Sverdrup) part of the wind-driven transports.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: tropischer Atlantik, Zirkulation, Variabilität, GECCO-Modell
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1175/2007JPO3541.1
ISSN: 0022-3670
Projects: CLIVAR
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2008 16:50
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2018 12:39
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/2461

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