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Title: Oceanic Advection Controls Mesoscale Mixed Layer Heat Budget and Air–Sea Heat Exchange in the Southern Ocean
Abstract We analyze the role of mesoscale heat advection in a mixed layer (ML) heat budget, using a regional high-resolution coupled model with realistic atmospheric forcing and an idealized ocean component. The model represents two regions in the Southern Ocean, one with strong ocean currents and the other with weak ocean currents. We conclude that heat advection by oceanic currents creates mesoscale anomalies in sea surface temperature (SST), while the atmospheric turbulent heat fluxes dampen these SST anomalies. This relationship depends on the spatial scale, the strength of the currents, and the mixed layer depth (MLD). At the oceanic mesoscale, there is a positive correlation between the advection and SST anomalies, especially when the currents are strong overall. For large-scale zonal anomalies, the ML-integrated advection determines the heating/cooling of the ML, while the SST anomalies tend to be larger in size than the advection and the spatial correlation between these two fields is weak. The effects of atmospheric forcing on the ocean are modulated by the MLD variability. The significance of Ekman advection and diabatic heating is secondary to geostrophic advection except in summer when the MLD is shallow. This study links heat advection, SST anomalies, and air–sea heat fluxes at ocean mesoscales, and emphasizes the overall dominance of intrinsic oceanic variability in mesoscale air–sea heat exchange in the Southern Ocean.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1849990 1559151
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Physical Oceanography
Page Range / eLocation ID:
537 to 555
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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