Diapycnal heat flux and mixed layer heat budget within the Atlantic Cold Tongue.

Hummels, Rebecca, Dengler, Marcus , Brandt, Peter and Schlundt, Michael (2014) Diapycnal heat flux and mixed layer heat budget within the Atlantic Cold Tongue. Open Access Climate Dynamics, 43 (11). pp. 3179-3199. DOI 10.1007/s00382-014-2339-6.

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Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the eastern tropical Atlantic are crucial for climate variability within the tropical belt. Despite this importance, state-of-the-art climate models show a large SST warm bias in this region. Knowledge about the seasonal mixed layer (ML) heat budget is a prerequisite for understanding SST mean state and its variability. Within this study all contributions to the seasonal ML heat budget are estimated at four locations within the Atlantic cold tongue (ACT) that are representative for the western (0°N, 23°W), central (0°N, 10°W) and eastern (0°N, 0°E) equatorial as well as the southern (10°S, 10°W) ACT. To estimate the contribution of the diapycnal heat flux due to turbulence an extensive data set of microstructure observations collected during ten research cruises between 2005 and 2012 is analyzed. The results for the equatorial ACT indicate that with the inclusion of the diapycnal heat flux the seasonal ML heat budget is balanced. Within the equatorial region, the diapycnal heat flux is essential for the development of the ACT. It dominates over all other cooling terms in the central and eastern equatorial ACT, while it is of similar size as the zonal advection in the western equatorial ACT. In contrast, the SST evolution in the southern ACT region can be explained entirely by air-sea heat fluxes.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/284321
Additional Information: This paper is a contribution to the special issue on tropical Atlantic variability and coupled model climate biases that have been the focus of the recently completed Tropical Atlantic Climate Experiment (TACE), an international CLIVAR program (http://www.clivar.org/organization/atlantic/tace). This special issue is coordinated by William Johns, Peter Brandt, and Ping Chang, representatives of the TACE Observations and TACE Modeling and Synthesis working groups. WOS:000344862200017
Keywords: Mixed layer heat budget; Atlantic Cold Tongue region; Diapycnal heat flux; Microstructure observations
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 754
OceanRep > SFB 754 > A8
OceanRep > SFB 754 > A4
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-PO Physical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00382-014-2339-6
ISSN: 0930-7575
Projects: PREFACE, GROOM, SFB754, BMBF Nordatlantik, RACE, PIRATA, Emmy Noether Program, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2014 09:59
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 18:04
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/25667

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