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Tamsitt, V, Abernathey RP, Mazloff MR, Wang J, Talley LD.  2018.  Transformation of deep water masses along Lagrangian upwelling pathways in the Southern Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.   10.1002/2017JC013409   AbstractWebsite

Upwelling of northern deep waters in the Southern Ocean is fundamentally important for the closure of the global meridional overturning circulation and delivers carbon and nutrient‐rich deep waters to the sea surface. We quantify water mass transformation along upwelling pathways originating in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific and ending at the surface of the Southern Ocean using Lagrangian trajectories in an eddy‐permitting ocean state estimate. Recent related work shows that upwelling in the interior below about 400 m depth is localized at hot spots associated with major topographic features in the path of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, while upwelling through the surface layer is more broadly distributed. In the ocean interior upwelling is largely isopycnal; Atlantic and to a lesser extent Indian Deep Waters cool and freshen while Pacific deep waters are more stable, leading to a homogenization of water mass properties. As upwelling water approaches the mixed layer, there is net strong transformation toward lighter densities due to mixing of freshwater, but there is a divergence in the density distribution as Upper Circumpolar Deep Water tends become lighter and dense Lower Circumpolar Deep Water tends to become denser. The spatial distribution of transformation shows more rapid transformation at eddy hot spots associated with major topography where density gradients are enhanced; however, the majority of cumulative density change along trajectories is achieved by background mixing. We compare the Lagrangian analysis to diagnosed Eulerian water mass transformation to attribute the mechanisms leading to the observed transformation.

Centurioni, LR, Hormann V, Talley LD, Arzeno I, Beal L, Caruso M, Conry P, Echols R, Fernando HJS, Giddings SN, Gordon A, Graber H, Harcourt RR, Jayne SR, Jensen TG, Lee CM, Lermusiaux PFJ, L'Hegaret P, Lucas AJ, Mahadevan A, McClean JL, Pawlak G, Rainville L, Riser SC, Seo H, Shcherbina AY, Skyllingstad E, Sprintall J, Subrahmanyam B, Terrill E, Todd RE, Trott C, Ulloa HN, Wang H.  2017.  Northern Arabian Sea Circulation Autonomous Research (NASCar): A research initiative based on autonomous sensors. Oceanography. 30:74-87.   10.5670/oceanog.2017.224   AbstractWebsite

The Arabian Sea circulation is forced by strong monsoonal winds and is characterized by vigorous seasonally reversing currents, extreme differences in sea surface salinity, localized substantial upwelling, and widespread submesoscale thermohaline structures. Its complicated sea surface temperature patterns are important for the onset and evolution of the Asian monsoon. This article describes a program that aims to elucidate the role of upper-ocean processes and atmospheric feedbacks in setting the sea surface temperature properties of the region. The wide range of spatial and temporal scales and the difficulty of accessing much of the region with ships due to piracy motivated a novel approach based on state-of-the-art autonomous ocean sensors and platforms. The extensive data set that is being collected, combined with numerical models and remote sensing data, confirms the role of planetary waves in the reversal of the Somali Current system. These data also document the fast response of the upper equatorial ocean to monsoon winds through changes in temperature and salinity and the connectivity of the surface currents across the northern Indian Ocean. New observations of thermohaline interleaving structures and mixing in setting the surface temperature properties of the northern Arabian Sea are also discussed.

Abernathey, RP, Cerovecki I, Holland PR, Newsom E, Mazlo M, Talley LD.  2016.  Water-mass transformation by sea ice in the upper branch of the Southern Ocean overturning. Nature Geoscience. 9:596-+.   10.1038/ngeo2749   AbstractWebsite

Ocean overturning circulation requires a continuous thermodynamic transformation of the buoyancy of seawater. The steeply sloping isopycnals of the Southern Ocean provide a pathway for Circumpolar Deep Water to upwell from mid depth without strong diapycnal mixing(1-3), where it is transformed directly by surface fluxes of heat and freshwater and splits into an upper and lower branch(4-6). While brine rejection from sea ice is thought to contribute to the lower branch(7), the role of sea ice in the upper branch is less well understood, partly due to a paucity of observations of sea-ice thickness and transport(8,9). Here we quantify the sea-ice freshwater flux using the Southern Ocean State Estimate, a state-of-the-art data assimilation that incorporates millions of ocean and ice observations. We then use the water-mass transformation framework(10) to compare the relative roles of atmospheric, sea-ice, and glacial freshwater fluxes, heat fluxes, and upper-ocean mixing in transforming buoyancy within the upper branch. We find that sea ice is a dominant term, with differential brine rejection and ice melt transforming upwelled Circumpolar Deep Water at a rate of similar to 22 x 10(6) m(3) s(-1). These results imply a prominent role for Antarctic sea ice in the upper branch and suggest that residual overturning and wind-driven sea-ice transport are tightly coupled.

Billheimer, S, Talley LD.  2016.  Extraordinarily weak Eighteen Degree Water production concurs with strongly positive North Atlantic Oscillation in late winter 2014/15. State of the Climate in 2015. 97( Blunden J, Arndt DS, Eds.).:Si-S275.   10.1175/2016BAMSStateoftheClimate.1   Abstract

In summary, winter 2014/15 was the weakest EDWformation year on record during the Argo era and wasassociated with an extreme, strongly positive winterNAO. Three of the past four winters have had belowaverage EDW renewal, with the most recent being themost extreme.

Waterhouse, AF, MacKinnon JA, Nash JD, Alford MH, Kunze E, Simmons HL, Polzin KL, St Laurent LC, Sun OM, Pinkel R, Talley LD, Whalen CB, Huussen TN, Carter GS, Fer I, Waterman S, Garabato ACN, Sanford TB, Lee CM.  2014.  Global patterns of diapycnal mixing from measurements of the turbulent dissipation rate. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 44:1854-1872.   10.1175/jpo-d-13-0104.1   AbstractWebsite

The authors present inferences of diapycnal diffusivity from a compilation of over 5200 microstructure profiles. As microstructure observations are sparse, these are supplemented with indirect measurements of mixing obtained from(i) Thorpe-scale overturns from moored profilers, a finescale parameterization applied to (ii) shipboard observations of upper-ocean shear, (iii) strain as measured by profiling floats, and (iv) shear and strain from full-depth lowered acoustic Doppler current profilers (LADCP) and CTD profiles. Vertical profiles of the turbulent dissipation rate are bottom enhanced over rough topography and abrupt, isolated ridges. The geography of depth-integrated dissipation rate shows spatial variability related to internal wave generation, suggesting one direct energy pathway to turbulence. The global-averaged diapycnal diffusivity below 1000-m depth is O(10(-4))m(2) s(-1) and above 1000-m depth is O(10(-5))m(2) s(-1). The compiled microstructure observations sample a wide range of internal wave power inputs and topographic roughness, providing a dataset with which to estimate a representative global-averaged dissipation rate and diffusivity. However, there is strong regional variability in the ratio between local internal wave generation and local dissipation. In some regions, the depth-integrated dissipation rate is comparable to the estimated power input into the local internal wave field. In a few cases, more internal wave power is dissipated than locally generated, suggesting remote internal wave sources. However, at most locations the total power lost through turbulent dissipation is less than the input into the local internal wave field. This suggests dissipation elsewhere, such as continental margins.

Marshall, J, Andersson A, Bates N, Dewar W, Doney S, Edson J, Ferrari R, Forget G, Fratantoni D, Gregg M, Joyce T, Kelly K, Lozier S, Lumpkin R, Maze G, Palter J, Samelson R, Silverthorne K, Skyllingstad E, Straneo F, Talley L, Thomas L, Toole J, Weller R, Climode G.  2009.  The CLIMODE FIELD CAMPAIGN Observing the Cycle of Convection and Restratification over the Gulf Stream. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 90:1337-1350.   10.1175/2009bams2706.1   AbstractWebsite
Bindoff, NL, Willebrand J, Artale V, Cazenave A, Gregory J, Gulev S, Hanawa K, Le Quere C, Levitus S, Nojiri Y, Shum CK, Talley LD, Unnikrishnan A.  2007.  Observations: Oceanic Climate Change and Sea Level. Climate change 2007 : the physical science basis : contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. ( Solomon S, Qin D, Manning M, Chen Z, Marquis M, Avery KB, Tignor M, Miller H, Eds.).:387-432., Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press Abstract
Alley, RB, Marotzke J, Nordhaus WD, Overpeck JT, Peteet DM, Pielke RA, Pierrehumbert RT, Rhines PB, Stocker TF, Talley LD, Wallace JM.  2003.  Abrupt climate change. Science. 299:2005-2010.   10.1126/science.1081056   AbstractWebsite

Large, abrupt, and widespread climate changes with major impacts have occurred repeatedly in the past, when the Earth system was forced across thresholds. Although abrupt climate changes can occur for many reasons, it is conceivable that human forcing of climate change is increasing the probability of large, abrupt events. Were such an event to recur, the economic and ecological impacts could be large and potentially serious. Unpredictability exhibited near climate thresholds in simple models shows that some uncertainty will always be associated with projections. In light of these uncertainties, policy-makers should consider expanding research into abrupt climate change, improving monitoring systems, and taking actions designed to enhance the adaptability and resilience of ecosystems and economies.