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Impact of oceanic-scale interactions on the seasonal modulation of ocean dynamics by the atmosphere
|Title:||Impact of oceanic-scale interactions on the seasonal modulation of ocean dynamics by the atmosphere|
|Issue Date:||Dec 2014|
|Abstract:||Ocean eddies (with a size of 100–300 km), ubiquitous in satellite observations, are known to
represent about 80% of the total ocean kinetic energy. Recent studies have pointed out
the unexpected role of smaller oceanic structures (with 1–50 km scales) in generating and
sustaining these eddies. The interpretation proposed so far invokes the internal instability
resulting from the large-scale interaction between upper and interior oceanic layers. Here we
show, using a new high-resolution simulation of the realistic North Pacific Ocean, that ocean
eddies are instead sustained by a different process that involves small-scale mixed-layer
instabilities set up by large-scale atmospheric forcing in winter. This leads to a seasonal
evolution of the eddy kinetic energy in a very large part of this ocean, with an amplitude
varying by a factor almost equal to 2. Perspectives in terms of the impacts on climate
dynamics and future satellite observational systems are briefly discussed.
|Appears in Collections:||SOEST Faculty & Researcher Works|
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