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2011
Cerovecki, I, Talley LD, Mazloff MR.  2011.  A Comparison of Southern Ocean Air-Sea Buoyancy Flux from an Ocean State Estimate with Five Other Products. Journal of Climate. 24:6283-6306.   10.1175/2011jcli3858.1   AbstractWebsite

The authors have intercompared the following six surface buoyancy flux estimates, averaged over the years 2005-07: two reanalyses [the recent ECMWF reanalysis (ERA-Interim; hereafter ERA), and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)-NCAR reanalysis 1 (hereafter NCEP1)], two recent flux products developed as an improvement of NCEP1 [the flux product by Large and Yeager and the Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE)], and two ad hoc air sea flux estimates that are obtained by combining the NCEP1 or ERA net radiative fluxes with turbulent flux estimates using the Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Response Experiment (COARE) 3.0 bulk formulas with NCEP1 or ERA input variables. The accuracy of SOSE adjustments of NCEP1 atmospheric fields (which SOSE uses as an initial guess and a constraint) was assessed by verification that SOSE reduces the biases in the NCEP1 fluxes as diagnosed by the Working Group on Air-Sea Fluxes (Taylor), suggesting that oceanic observations may be a valuable constraint to improve atmospheric variables. Compared with NCEP1, both SOSE and Large and Yeager increase the net ocean heat loss in high latitudes, decrease ocean heat loss in the subtropical Indian Ocean, decrease net evaporation in the subtropics, and decrease net precipitation in polar latitudes. The large-scale pattern of SOSE and Large and Yeager turbulent heat flux adjustment is similar, but the magnitude of SOSE adjustments is significantly larger. Their radiative heat flux adjustments patterns differ. Turbulent heat fluxes determined by combining COARE bulk formulas with NCEP1 or ERA should not be combined with unmodified NCEP1 or ERA radiative fluxes as the net ocean heat gain poleward of 25 degrees S becomes unrealistically large. The other surface flux products (i.e., NCEP1, ERA, Large and Yeager, and SOSE) balance more closely. Overall, the statistical estimates of the differences between the various air-sea heat flux products tend lobe largest in regions with strong ocean mesoscale activity such as the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and the western boundary currents.

2010
Chereskin, TK, Talley LD, Sloyan BM.  2010.  Nonlinear vorticity balance of the Subantarctic Front in the southeast Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 115   10.1029/2009jc005611   AbstractWebsite

Direct velocity observations from shipboard and lowered acoustic Doppler current profilers are used to examine the velocity and vorticity structure of the Subantarctic Front (SAF) between the East Pacific Rise and Drake Passage from surveys made in 2005 and 2006. The SAF is characterized by meanders of horizontal wavelength approximately 250-300 km in this region of relatively smooth topography. The depth-averaged SAF jet is observed to be closely aligned with the flow at 150 m, as in an equivalent barotropic flow. The barotropic or depth-averaged vorticity exhibits a balance between advection of planetary vorticity and relative vorticity, as would be seen in a Doppler-shifted short barotropic Rossby wave in a mean flow. The implied wave speed is consistent with the observed range of current speeds. An exponential fit to the vertical structure of the current consistent with the vorticity balance suggests a vertical decay scale of about 1900 m. The vorticity balance at 150 m implies a surface divergence which must be balanced at depth by a divergence of the opposite sign. The calculation confirms the tentative conclusions of Hughes (2005) for this region, which were based on a surface climatology but indicates a larger vertical decay scale and wave speed.

2008
Talley, LD.  2008.  Freshwater transport estimates and the global overturning circulation: Shallow, deep and throughflow components. Progress in Oceanography. 78:257-303.   10.1016/j.pocean.2008.05.001   AbstractWebsite

Meridional ocean freshwater transports and convergences are calculated from absolute geostrophic velocities and Ekman transports. The freshwater transports are analyzed in terms of mass-balanced contributions from the shallow, ventilated circulation of the subtropical gyres, intermediate and deep water overturns, and Indonesian Throughflow and Bering Strait components. The following are the major conclusions: 1. Excess freshwater in high latitudes must be transported to the evaporative lower latitudes, as is well known. The calculations here show that the northern hemisphere transports most of its high latitude freshwater equatorward through North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) formation (as in [Rahmstorf, S., 1996. On the freshwater forcing and transport of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation. Climate Dynamics 12, 799-811]), in which saline subtropical surface waters absorb the freshened Arctic and subpolar North Atlantic surface waters (0.45 +/- 0.15 Sv for a 15 Sv overturn), plus a small contribution from the high latitude North Pacific through Bering Strait (0.06 +/- 0.02 Sv). In the North Pacific, formation of 2.4 Sv of North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW) transports 0.07 +/- 0.02 Sv of freshwater equatorward. In complete contrast, almost all of the 0.61 +/- 0.13 Sv of freshwater gained in the Southern Ocean is transported equatorward in the upper ocean, in roughly equal magnitudes of about 0.2 Sv each in the three subtropical gyres, with a smaller contribution of <0. 1 Sv from the Indonesian Throughflow loop through the Southern Ocean. The large Southern Ocean deep water formation (27 Sv) exports almost no freshwater (0.01 +/- 0.03 Sv) or actually imports freshwater if deep overturns in each ocean are considered separately (-0.06 +/- 0.04 Sv). This northern-southern hemisphere asymmetry is likely a consequence of the "Drake Passage" effect, which limits the southward transport of warm, saline surface waters into the Antarctic [Toggweiler, J.R., Samuels, B., 1995a. Effect of Drake Passage on the global thermohaline circulation. Deep-Sea Research 1 42(4), 477-500]. The salinity contrast between the deep Atlantic, Pacific and Indian source waters and the denser new Antarctic waters is limited by their small temperature contrast, resulting in small freshwater transports. No such constraint applies to NADW formation, which draws on warm, saline subtropical surface waters. 2. The Atlantic/Arctic and Indian Oceans are net evaporative basins, hence import freshwater via ocean circulation. For the Atlantic/Arctic north of 32 degrees S, freshwater import (0.28 +/- 0.04 Sv) comes from the Pacific through Bering Strait (0.06 0.02 Sv), from the Southern Ocean via the shallow gyre circulation (0.20 +/- 0.02 Sv), and from three nearly canceling conversions to the NADW layer (0.02 0.02 Sv): from saline Benguela Current surface water (-0.05 +/- 0.01 Sv), fresh AAIW (0.06 0.01 Sv) and fresh AABW/LCDW (0.01 0.01 Sv). Thus, the NADW freshwater balance is nearly closed within the Atlantic/Arctic Ocean and the freshwater transport associated with export of NADW to the Southern Ocean is only a small component of the Atlantic freshwater budget. For the Indian Ocean north of 32 degrees S, import of the required 0.37 +/- 0.10 Sv of freshwater comes from the Pacific through the Indonesian Throughflow (0.23 +/- 0.05 Sv) and the Southern Ocean via the shallow gyre circulation (0.18 +/- 0.02 Sv), with a small export southward due to freshening of bottom waters as they upwell into deep and intermediate waters (-0.04 +/- 0.03 Sv). The Pacific north of 28 degrees S is essentially neutral with respect to freshwater, -0.04 +/- 0.09 Sv. This is the nearly balancing sum of export to the Atlantic through Bering Strait (-0.07 +/- 0.02 Sv), export to the Indian through the Indonesian Throughflow (-0.17 +/- 0.05 Sv), a negligible export due to freshening of upwelled bottom waters (-0.03 +/- 0.03 Sv), and import of 0.23 +/- 0.04 Sv from the Southern Ocean via the shallow gyre circulation. 3. Bering Strait's small freshwater transport of <0.1 Sv helps maintains the Atlantic-Pacific salinity difference. However, proportionally large variations in the small Bering Strait transport would only marginally impact NADW salinity, whose freshening relative to saline surface water is mainly due to air-sea/runoff fluxes in the subpolar North Atlantic and Arctic. In contrast, in the Pacific, because the total overturning rate is much smaller than in the Atlantic, Bering Strait freshwater export has proportionally much greater impact on North Pacific salinity balances, including NPIW salinity. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Dong, S, Sprintall J, Gille ST, Talley L.  2008.  Southern Ocean mixed-layer depth from Argo float profiles. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 113   10.1029/2006jc004051   AbstractWebsite

Argo float profiles of temperature, salinity, and pressure are used to derive the mixed-layer depth (MLD) in the Southern Ocean. MLD is determined from individual profiles using both potential density and potential temperature criteria, and a monthly climatology is derived from individual MLDs using an objective mapping method. Quantitative data are available in the auxiliary material. The spatial structures of MLDs are similar in each month, with deep mixed layers within and just north of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) in the Pacific and Indian oceans. The deepest mixed layers are found from June to October and are located just north of the ACC where Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) and Subantarctic Mode Water ( SAMW) are formed. Examination of individual MLDs indicates that deep mixed layers ( MLD >= 400 m) from both the density and temperature criteria are concentrated in a narrow surface density band which is within the density range of SAMW. The surface salinity for these deep mixed layers associated with the SAMW formation are slightly fresher compared to historical estimates. Differences in air-sea heat exchanges, wind stress, and wind stress curl in the Pacific and Indian oceans suggest that the mode water formation in each ocean basin may be preconditioned by different processes. Wind mixing and Ekman transport of cold water from the south may assist the SAMW formation in the Indian Ocean. In the eastern Pacific, the formation of mode water is potentially preconditioned by the relative strong cooling and weak stratification from upwelling.