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Variability of the meridional transport processes in the Southern Ocean and its possible relation to El Nino

By V.N. Stepanov


The article deals with the influence of wind and atmospheric pressure on the barotropic variability of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). This effect is studied using a global barotropic model under idealized and realistic atmospheric forcings. The results of barotropic modeling demonstrate that variations in the wind forcing over the ACC, together with the effects of the topography and coastline, lead to the variability in the meridional water flux in the Southern Ocean. The variability of these fluxes is negatively correlated with the wind strength over the ACC. A possible link between the short-period variability of the water flux in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean and El Nino is demonstrated using 3D ocean modeling and correlation analysis. It is shown that the variability of the meridional water flux caused by atmospheric perturbations over the ACC can lead to short-period density anomalies in the Southern Ocean north of 47 degrees S, which later can be transferred to low latitudes by means of the wave mechanism described in [15] and strongly influence the tropical region

Topics: Marine Sciences
Publisher: Springer
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1134/S0001437009010019
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