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McCarthy, MC, Talley LD, Roemmich D.  2000.  Seasonal to interannual variability from expendable bathythermograph and TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter data in the South Pacific subtropical gyre. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 105:19535-19550.   10.1029/2000jc900056   AbstractWebsite

Estimates of dynamic height anomalies from expendable bathythermograph (XBT) and TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) sea surface height (SSH) measurements were compared along a, transect at similar to 30 degrees S in the South Pacific. T/P SSH anomalies were calculated relative to a 5 year time mean. XBT dynamic height was calculated relative to 750 m using measured temperature and an objectively mapped climatological temperature-salinity relationship. The anomaly was obtained by subtracting out an objectively-mapped climatological dynamic height relative to 750 m. XBT temperature sections show evidence of a double-gyre structure, related to changes in shallow isopycnals near the gyre's center. XBT dynamic height and T/P SSH anomalies compare well with an RMS difference of 3.8 cm and a coherence above 0.7 for scales larger than 300 km. The differences between the two measures of dynamic height yield systematic patterns. Time-varying spatial averages of the differences are found to be related to changes in Sverdrup transport, zonal surface slope differences, and the 6 degrees C isotherm depth. Higher zonally averaged altimetry SSH than zonally averaged XBT height and larger northward transport from altimetry SSH than from XBT height correspond to gyre spinup determined from Sverdrup transport changes. This implies mass storage during gyre spinup due to the phase lag between the Ekman pumping and the full baroclinic Sverdrup response. Increases in the spatially averaged differences and zonal slope differences, associated with gyre spinup, correspond to shoaling in the 6 degrees C isotherm depth, requiring deep baroclinic changes out of phase with the 6 degrees C isotherm depth changes.

Tishchenko, PY, Talley LD, Lobanov VB, Zhabin IA, Luchm VA, Nedashkovskii AP, Sagalaev SG, Chichkin RV, Shkirnikova EM, Ponomarev VI, Masten D, Kang DJ, Kim KR.  2003.  Seasonal variability of the hydrochemical conditions in the sea of Japan. Oceanology. 43:643-655. AbstractWebsite

In the summer of 1999 and the winter of 2000, during international expeditions of R/Vs Professor Khromov and Roger Revelle, hydrological and hydrochemical studies of the Sea of Japan were performed. Comparing the hydrochemical characteristics of the Sea of Japan in the summer and winter seasons, we have found that the seasonal variability affects not only the upper quasihomogeneous layer but also the deeper layers. This variability is caused by the intensification of vertical mixing during the winter season. It was shown that the mixing intensification in the deep layers of the sea in the winter might be caused both by the slope convection and by the deep convection in the open part of the sea, penetrating deeper than 1000 in. It was found that the area of positive values of the biological constituent of the apparent oxygen consumption coincides with the area of deep convection. The climatic zoning in the distribution of partial pressure of carbon dioxide was revealed for both seasons. In the northwestern part of the sea, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere due to the deep convection in the winter and the heating process in the summer. The southern part of the sea absorbs the atmospheric carbon dioxide because of the process of photosynthesis and cooling of the waters supplied from the Korea Strait.

Ruckelshaus, M, Doney SC, Galindo HM, Barry JP, Chan F, Duffy JE, English CA, Gaines SD, Grebmeier JM, Hollowed AB, Knowlton N, Polovina J, Rabalais NN, Sydeman WJ, Talley LD.  2013.  Securing ocean benefits for society in the face of climate change. Marine Policy. 40:154-159.   10.1016/j.marpol.2013.01.009   AbstractWebsite

Benefits humans rely on from the ocean - marine ecosystem services - are increasingly vulnerable under future climate. This paper reviews how three valued services have, and will continue to, shift under climate change: (1) capture fisheries, (2) food from aquaculture, and (3) protection from coastal hazards such as storms and sea-level rise. Climate adaptation planning is just beginning for fisheries, aquaculture production, and risk mitigation for coastal erosion and inundation. A few examples are highlighted, showing the promise of considering multiple ecosystem services in developing approaches to adapt to sea-level rise, ocean acidification, and rising sea temperatures. Ecosystem-based adaptation in fisheries and along coastlines and changes in aquaculture practices can improve resilience of species and habitats to future environmental challenges. Opportunities to use market incentives - such as compensation for services or nutrient trading schemes - are relatively untested in marine systems. Relocation of communities in response to rising sea levels illustrates the urgent need to manage human activities and investments in ecosystems to provide a sustainable flow of benefits in the face of future climate change. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Yuan, XJ, Talley LD.  1992.  Shallow Salinity Minima in the North Pacific. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 22:1302-1316.   10.1175/1520-0485(1992)022<1302:ssmitn>;2   AbstractWebsite

CTD/STD data from 24 cruises in the North Pacific are studied for their vertical salinity structure and compared to bottle observations. A triple-salinity minimum is found in two separated regions in the eastern North Pacific. In the first region, bounded by the northern edge of the subarctic frontal zone and the 34-degrees-N front between 160-degrees and 150-degrees-W, a middle salinity minimum is found below the permanent pycnocline in the density range of 26.0 and 26.5 sigma(theta). This middle minimum underlies Reid's shallow salinity minimum and overlies the North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW). In the second region, southeast of the first, a seasonal salinity minimum appears above the shallow salinity minimum at densities lower than 25.1 sigma(theta). The shallow salinity minimum and the NPIW can be found throughout year, while the seasonal minimum only appears in summer and fall. The middle and shallow salinity minima, as well as the seasonal minimum, originate at the sea surface in the northeast Pacific. The properties at the minima depend on the surface conditions in their source areas. The source of the middle minimum is the winter surface water in a narrow band between the gyre boundary and the subarctic front west of 170-degrees-W. The shallow salinity minimum is generated in winter and is present throughout the year. The seasonal salinity minimum has the same source area as the shallow salinity minimum but is formed in summer and fall at lower density and is not present in winter. A tropical shallow salinity minimum found south of 18-degrees-N does not appear to be connected with the shallow salinity minimum in the eastern North Pacific. South of 20-degrees-N, the shallow salinity minimum and the NPIW appear to merge into a thick, low salinity water mass. When an intrusion of high salinity water breaks through this low salinity water mass south of 18-degrees-N, this tropical salinity minimum appears at the same density as the shallow salinity minimum. Though the water mass of the tropical minimum is derived from the water in the shallow salinity minimum, the formation of the vertical minimum is different.

Talley, LD.  2003.  Shallow, intermediate, and deep overturning components of the global heat budget. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 33:530-560.   10.1175/1520-0485(2003)033<0530:siadoc>;2   AbstractWebsite

The ocean's overturning circulation and associated heat transport are divided into contributions based on water mass ventilation from 1) shallow overturning within the wind-driven subtropical gyres to the base of the thermocline, 2) overturning into the intermediate depth layer (500-2000 m) in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and 3) overturning into the deep layers in the North Atlantic (Nordic Seas overflows) and around Antarctica. The contribution to South Pacific and Indian heat transport from the Indonesian Throughflow is separated from that of the subtropical gyres and is small. A shallow overturning heat transport of 0.6 PW dominates the 0.8-PW total heat transport at 24degreesN in the North Pacific but carries only 0.1-0.4 PW of the 1.3-PW total in the North Atlantic at 24degreesN. Shallow overturning heat transports in the Southern Hemisphere are also poleward: -0.2 to -0.3 PW southward across 30degreesS in each of the Pacific and Indian Oceans but only -0.1 PW in the South Atlantic. Intermediate water formation of 2 and 7 Sv (1 Sv = 10(6) m(3) s(-1)) carries 0.1 and 0.4 PW in the North Pacific and Atlantic, respectively, while North Atlantic Deep Water formation of 19 Sv carries 0.6 PW. Because of the small temperature differences between Northern Hemisphere deep waters that feed the colder Antarctic Bottom Water (Lower Circumpolar Deep Water), the formation of 22 Sv of dense Antarctic waters is associated with a heat transport of only -0.14 PW across 30degreesS (all oceans combined). Upwelling of Circumpolar Deep Water north of 30degreesS in the Indian (14 Sv) and South Pacific (14 Sv) carries -0.2 PW in each ocean.

Talley, LD.  1999.  Simple coupled midlatitude climate models. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 29:2016-2037.   10.1175/1520-0485(1999)029<2016:scmcm>;2   AbstractWebsite

A set of simple analytical models is presented and evaluated for interannual to decadal coupled ocean-atmosphere modes at midlatitudes. The atmosphere and ocean are each in Sverdrup balance at these long timescales. The atmosphere's temperature response to heating determines the spatial phase relation between SST and sea level pressure (SLP) anomalies. Vertical advection balancing heating produces high (low) SLP lying east of warm (cold) SST anomalies, as observed in the Antarctic circumpolar wave (ACW), the decadal North Pacific mode, and the interannual North Atlantic mode. Zonal advection in an atmosphere with a rigid lid produces low SLP east of warm SST. However, if an ad hoc equivalent barotropic atmospheric response is assumed, high SLP lies east of warm SST. Relaxation to heating produces behavior like the observed North Atlantic decadal pattern, with low SLP over warm SST. Meridional advection in the atmosphere cannot produce the observed SST/SLP patterns. The dominant balance in the oceans temperature equation determines the phase speed of the modes. The coupled mode is nondispersive in all models examined here, indicating the need for additional processes. For modes with an SST-SLP offset as observed in the ACW and North Pacific, Ekman convergence acting as a heat source causes eastward propagation relative to the mean ocean flow. Sverdrup response to Ekman convergence, acting on the mean meridional temperature gradient, causes westward propagation relative to the mean ocean Row. When the ocean temperature adjusts through surface heat flux alone, the mode is advected by the mean ocean flow and is damped. Relaxation to heating in the atmosphere, when operating with Sverdrup response in the ocean, produces the only complete solution presented here that exhibits growth, with an a-folding timescale of order (100 days). This solution appears appropriate for the North Atlantic decadal mode. In Northern Hemisphere basins, with meridional boundaries, the: same sets of dynamics create the observed SST-SLP phase relation. An additional factor is the creation of SST anomalies through variations in the western boundary current strengths, which are related to the zonally integrated wind stress curl over the whole basin. If barotropic and hence fast adjustment is assumed, the resulting positive feedback can maintain or strengthen the coupled anomalies in the North Pacific and interannual North Atlantic modes.

Talley, LD.  1999.  Some aspects of ocean heat transport by the shallow, intermediate and deep overturning circulations. Mechanisms of global climate change at millennial time scales. ( Clark PU, Webb RS, Keigwin LD, Eds.).:1-22., Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union Abstract
Talley, LD, Rosso I, Kamenkovich I, Mazloff MR, Wang J, Boss E, Gray AR, Johnson KS, Key R, Riser SC, Williams NL, Sarmiento JL.  2018.  Southern Ocean biogeochemical float deployment strategy, with example from the Greenwich Meridian line (GO-SHIP A12). Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans.   10.1029/2018JC014059   Abstract

Biogeochemical Argo floats, profiling to 2000 m depth, are being deployed throughout the Southern Ocean by the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling program (SOCCOM). The goal is 200 floats by 2020, to provide the first full set of annual cycles of carbon, oxygen, nitrate and optical properties across multiple oceanographic regimes. Building from no prior coverage to a sparse array, deployments are based on prior knowledge of water mass properties, mean frontal locations, mean circulation and eddy variability, winds, air-sea heat/freshwater/carbon exchange, prior Argo trajectories, and float simulations in the Southern Ocean State Estimate (SOSE) and Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). Twelve floats deployed from the 2014-2015 Polarstern cruise from South Africa to Antarctica are used as a test case to evaluate the deployment strategy adopted for SOCCOM's 20 deployment cruises and 126 floats to date. After several years, these floats continue to represent the deployment zones targeted in advance: (1) Weddell Gyre sea ice zone, including the Antarctic Slope Front, Maud Rise, and the open gyre; (2) Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) including the topographically-steered Southern zone ‘chimney' where upwelling carbon/nutrient-rich deep waters produce surprisingly large carbon dioxide outgassing; (3) Subantarctic and Subtropical zones between the ACC and Africa; and (4) Cape Basin. Argo floats and eddy-resolving HYCOM simulations were the best predictors of individual SOCCOM float pathways, with uncertainty after 2 years on the order of 1000 km in the sea ice zone and more than double that in and north of the ACC.

Talley, LD, Rosso I, Kamenkovich I, Mazloff MR, Wang J, Boss E, Gray AR, Johnson KS, Key RM, Riser SC, Williams NL, Sarmiento JL.  2019.  Southern Ocean biogeochemical float deployment strategy, with example from the Greenwich meridian line (GO-SHIP A12). Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 124:403-431.   10.1029/2018jc014059   AbstractWebsite

Biogeochemical Argo floats, profiling to 2,000-m depth, are being deployed throughout the Southern Ocean by the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling program (SOCCOM). The goal is 200 floats by 2020, to provide the first full set of annual cycles of carbon, oxygen, nitrate, and optical properties across multiple oceanographic regimes. Building from no prior coverage to a sparse array, deployments are based on prior knowledge of water mass properties, mean frontal locations, mean circulation and eddy variability, winds, air-sea heat/freshwater/carbon exchange, prior Argo trajectories, and float simulations in the Southern Ocean State Estimate and Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). Twelve floats deployed from the 2014-2015 Polarstern cruise from South Africa to Antarctica are used as a test case to evaluate the deployment strategy adopted for SOCCOM's 20 deployment cruises and 126 floats to date. After several years, these floats continue to represent the deployment zones targeted in advance: (1) Weddell Gyre sea ice zone, observing the Antarctic Slope Front, and a decadally-rare polynya over Maud Rise; (2) Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) including the topographically steered Southern Zone chimney where upwelling carbon/nutrient-rich deep waters produce surprisingly large carbon dioxide outgassing; (3) Subantarctic and Subtropical zones between the ACC and Africa; and (4) Cape Basin. Argo floats and eddy-resolving HYCOM simulations were the best predictors of individual SOCCOM float pathways, with uncertainty after 2years of order 1,000km in the sea ice zone and more than double that in and north of the ACC.

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.

Rosso, I, Mazloff MR, Verdy A, Talley LD.  2017.  Space and time variability of the Southern Ocean carbon budget. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 122:7407-7432.   10.1002/2016jc012646   AbstractWebsite

The upper ocean dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration is regulated by advective and diffusive transport divergence, biological processes, freshwater, and air-sea CO2 fluxes. The relative importance of these mechanisms in the Southern Ocean is uncertain, as year-round observations in this area have been limited. We use a novel physical-biogeochemical state estimate of the Southern Ocean to construct a closed DIC budget of the top 650 m and investigate the spatial and temporal variability of the different components of the carbon system. The dominant mechanisms of variability in upper ocean DIC depend on location and time and space scales considered. Advective transport is the most influential mechanism and governs the local DIC budget across the 10 day-5 year timescales analyzed. Diffusive effects are nearly negligible. The large-scale transport structure is primarily set by upwelling and downwelling, though both the lateral ageostrophic and geostrophic transports are significant. In the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the carbon budget components are also influenced by the presence of topography and biological hot spots. In the subtropics, evaporation and air-sea CO2 flux primarily balances the sink due to biological production and advective transport. Finally, in the subpolar region sea ice processes, which change the seawater volume and thus the DIC concentration, compensate the large impact of the advective transport and modulate the timing of biological activity and air-sea CO2 flux.

Whalen, CB, Talley LD, MacKinnon JA.  2012.  Spatial and temporal variability of global ocean mixing inferred from Argo profiles. Geophysical Research Letters. 39:n/a-n/a.   10.1029/2012GL053196   AbstractWebsite

The influence of turbulent ocean mixing transcends its inherently small scales to affect large scale ocean processes including water-mass transformation, stratification maintenance, and the overturning circulation. However, the distribution of ocean mixing is not well described by sparse ship-based observations since this mixing is both spatially patchy and temporally intermittent. We use strain information from Argo float profiles in the upper 2,000 m of the ocean to generate over 400,000 estimates of the energy dissipation rate, indicative of ocean mixing. These estimates rely on numerous assumptions, and do not take the place of direct measurement methods. Temporally averaged estimates reveal clear spatial patterns in the parameterized dissipation rate and diffusivity distribution across all the oceans. They corroborate previous observations linking elevated dissipation rates to regions of rough topography. We also observe heightened estimated dissipation rates in areas of high eddy kinetic energy, as well as heightened diffusivity in high latitudes where stratification is weak. The seasonal dependence of mixing is observed in the Northwest Pacific, suggesting a wind-forced response in the upper ocean.

Talley, LD, de Szoeke RA.  1986.  Spatial Fluctuations North of the Hawaiian Ridge. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 16:981-984.   10.1175/1520-0485(1986)016<0981:sfnoth>;2   AbstractWebsite

A closely spaced hydrographic section from Oabu, Hawaii to 28°N, 152°W and then north along 152°W shows strong eddy or current features with dynamic height signatures of about 30 dyn cm across 150 km and associated geostrophic surface velocities of approximately 60 cm s−1. Two such features are found between Hawaii and the Subtropical Front, which is located at 32°N. Similar features have been observed on a number of other hydrographic and XBT sections perpendicular to the Hawaiian Ridge. It is hypothesized that the features are semipermanent, are due to the presence of the Ridge, and are related to the North Hawaiian Ridge Current of Mysak and Magaard.

Tamsitt, V, Drake HF, Morrison AK, Talley LD, Dufour CO, Gray AR, Griffies SM, Mazloff MR, Sarmiento JL, Wang J, Weijer W.  2017.  Spiraling pathways of global deep waters to the surface of the Southern Ocean. Nature Communications. 8:172.   10.1038/s41467-017-00197-0   Abstract

Upwelling of global deep waters to the sea surface in the Southern Ocean closes the global overturning circulation and is fundamentally important for oceanic uptake of carbon and heat, nutrient resupply for sustaining oceanic biological production, and the melt rate of ice shelves. However, the exact pathways and role of topography in Southern Ocean upwelling remain largely unknown. Here we show detailed upwelling pathways in three dimensions, using hydrographic observations and particle tracking in high-resolution models. The analysis reveals that the northern-sourced deep waters enter the Antarctic Circumpolar Current via southward flow along the boundaries of the three ocean basins, before spiraling southeastward and upward through the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Upwelling is greatly enhanced at five major topographic features, associated with vigorous mesoscale eddy activity. Deep water reaches the upper ocean predominantly south of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, with a spatially nonuniform distribution. The timescale for half of the deep water to upwell from 30° S to the mixed layer is ~60–90 years.

McCartney, MS, Talley LD.  1982.  The Sub-Polar Mode Water of the North-Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 12:1169-1188.   10.1175/1520-0485(1982)012<1169:tsmwot>;2   AbstractWebsite

The warm waters of the subtropical and subpolar basins of the North Atlantic have tight regional temperature-salinity relationships, and are conventionally called the regional “Central Waters.” A volumetric census of the temperature-salinity characteristics of the North Atlantic by Wright and Worthington (1970) shows that waters characterized by certain segments of the T-S relationships have large volumes compared to those of other segments: volumetric “Mode Waters.” Such Mode Waters appear as layers with increased vertical separation between isopycnals-pycnostads. The present study reports on the existence of pycnostads in the central and eastern North Atlantic. These Subpolar Mode Waters are formed by deep winter convection in the subpolar North Atlantic, and participate in the upper water circulation of the northern North Atlantic. The seasonal outcropping of the pycnostads occurs within and adjacent to the North Atlantic Current, the Irminger Current, the East and West Greenland Currents, and the Labrador Current. The warmer pycnostads (10°C<=T<=15°C) recirculate in an anticyclonic subtropical gyre east and south of the North Atlantic Current, causing volumetric modes in the central and eastern subtropical North Atlantic. A branch of the North Atlantic Current carries somewhat heavier and cooler (8°C<=T<=10°C) pycnostads northward past Ireland. The bulk of the current turns westward, but one branch continues northward, providing a warm core to the Norwegian Current (8°C). Within the main westward flow the density continues to increase and temperature to decrease. Southeast of Iceland pycnostad temperatures are near 8°C. Following the cyclonic circulation around the Irminger Sea west of the Reykjanes Ridge the temperature drops to less than 5°C. The cyclonic flow around the Labrador Sea gives a final pycnostad temperature below 3.5°C. The last, coldest, densest pycnostad is the Labrador Sea Water which influences lower latitudes via the southward flowing, Deep Western Boundary Current along the western boundary, and via eastward flow at mid-depth in the North Atlantic Current (Talley and McCartney, 1982).

Cerovečki, I, Talley LD, Mazloff MR, Maze G.  2013.  Subantarctic Mode Water Formation, Destruction, and Export in the Eddy-Permitting Southern Ocean State Estimate. Journal of Physical Oceanography. 43:1485-1511.: American Meteorological Society   10.1175/JPO-D-12-0121.1   AbstractWebsite

Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) is examined using the data-assimilating, eddy-permitting Southern Ocean State Estimate, for 2005 and 2006. Surface formation due to air–sea buoyancy flux is estimated using Walin analysis, and diapycnal mixing is diagnosed as the difference between surface formation and transport across 30°S, accounting for volume change with time. Water in the density range 26.5 <σθ < 27.1 kg m−3 that includes SAMW is exported northward in all three ocean sectors, with a net transport of (18.2, 17.1) Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1; for years 2005, 2006); air–sea buoyancy fluxes form (13.2, 6.8) Sv, diapycnal mixing removes (−14.5, −12.6) Sv, and there is a volume loss of (−19.3, −22.9) Sv mostly occurring in the strongest SAMW formation locations. The most vigorous SAMW formation is in the Indian Ocean by air–sea buoyancy flux (9.4, 10.9) Sv, where it is partially destroyed by diapycnal mixing (−6.6, −3.1) Sv. There is strong export to the Pacific, where SAMW is destroyed both by air–sea buoyancy flux (−1.1, −4.6) Sv and diapycnal mixing (−5.6, −8.4) Sv. In the South Atlantic, SAMW is formed by air–sea buoyancy flux (5.0, 0.5) Sv and is destroyed by diapycnal mixing (−2.3, −1.1) Sv. Peaks in air–sea flux formation occur at the Southeast Indian and Southeast Pacific SAMWs (SEISAMWs, SEPSAMWs) densities. Formation over the broad SAMW circumpolar outcrop windows is largely from denser water, driven by differential freshwater gain, augmented or decreased by heating or cooling. In the SEISAMW and SEPSAMW source regions, however, formation is from lighter water, driven by differential heat loss.

Holte, JW, Talley LD, Chereskin TK, Sloyan BM.  2013.  Subantarctic mode water in the southeast Pacific: Effect of exchange across the Subantarctic Front. Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans. 118:2052-2066.   10.1002/jgrc.20144   Abstract

This study considered cross-frontal exchange as a possible mechanism for the observed along-front freshening and cooling between the 27.0 and 27.3 kg m − 3 isopycnals north of the Subantarctic Front (SAF) in the southeast Pacific Ocean. This isopycnal range, which includes the densest Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) formed in this region, is mostly below the mixed layer, and so experiences little direct air-sea forcing. Data from two cruises in the southeast Pacific were examined for evidence of cross-frontal exchange; numerous eddies and intrusions containing Polar Frontal Zone (PFZ) water were observed north of the SAF, as well as a fresh surface layer during the summer cruise that was likely due to Ekman transport. These features penetrated north of the SAF, even though the potential vorticity structure of the SAF should have acted as a barrier to exchange. An optimum multiparameter (OMP) analysis incorporating a range of observed properties was used to estimate the cumulative cross-frontal exchange. The OMP analysis revealed an along-front increase in PFZ water fractional content in the region north of the SAF between the 27.1 and 27.3 kg m − 3 isopycnals; the increase was approximately 0.13 for every 15° of longitude. Between the 27.0 and 27.1 kg m − 3 isopycnals, the increase was approximately 0.15 for every 15° of longitude. A simple bulk calculation revealed that this magnitude of cross-frontal exchange could have caused the downstream evolution of SAMW temperature and salinity properties observed by Argo profiling floats.

Yuan, XJ, Talley LD.  1996.  The subarctic frontal zone in the North Pacific: Characteristics of frontal structure from climatological data and synoptic surveys. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 101:16491-16508.   10.1029/96jc01249   AbstractWebsite

The subarctic front is a thermohaline structure across the North Pacific, separating colder, fresher water to the north from warmer, saltier water to the south. Levitus's [1982] data and 72 conductivity-temperature-depth/salinity-temperature-depth sections are used to show the spatial and seasonal variations of the climatological frontal zone and the characteristics of the frontal structure in synoptic surveys. The temperature gradient in the mean frontal zone is stronger in the western Pacific and decreases eastward, while the salinity gradient has less variation across the Pacific. The temperature gradient also has larger seasonal variation, with a maximum in spring, than the salinity gradient. The synoptic surveys show that the frontal zone is narrower and individual fronts tend to be stronger in the western Pacific than in the eastern Pacific. Density gradients tend to be more compensated at the strongest salinity fronts than at the strongest temperature fronts. A horizontal minimum of vertical stability is found south of the subarctic halocline outcrop. The northern boundary of the North Pacific Intermediate Water merges with the frontal zone west of 175 degrees W and is north of the northern boundary of the subarctic frontal zone in the eastern Pacific. The shallow salinity minima start within the subarctic frontal zone in the eastern Pacific.

Brambilla, E, Talley LD.  2008.  Subpolar Mode Water in the northeastern Atlantic: 1. Averaged properties and mean circulation. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 113   10.1029/2006jc004062   AbstractWebsite

Subpolar Mode Waters (SPMW) in the eastern North Atlantic subpolar gyre are investigated with hydrographic and Lagrangian data (surface drifters and isopycnal floats). Historical hydrographic data show that SPMWs are surface water masses with nearly uniform properties, confined between the ocean surface and the permanent pycnocline. SPMWs represented by densities 27.3(sigma theta), 27.4(sigma theta), and 27.5(sigma theta) are present in the eastern subpolar gyre and are influenced by the topography and the regional circulation. Construction of an absolute surface stream function from surface drifters shows that SPMWs are found along the mean path of each of the several branches of the North Atlantic Current (NAC) and their density increases gradually downstream. The Rockall Trough branch of the NAC carries 27.3(sigma theta), 27.4(sigma theta), and 27.5(sigma theta) SPMW toward the Iceland-Faroe Front. In the Iceland Basin, the Subarctic Front along the western flank of the Rockall Plateau carries a similar sequence of SPMW. The western side of the Central Iceland Basin branch of the NAC, on the other hand, veers westward and joins the East Reykjanes Ridge Current, feeding the 27.5(sigma theta) SPMW on the Reykjanes Ridge. The separation among the various NAC branches most likely explains the different properties that characterize the 27.5(sigma theta) SPMW found on the Reykjanes Ridge and on the Iceland-Faroe Ridge. Since the branches of the NAC have a dominant northeastward direction, the newly observed distribution of SPMW combined with the new stream function calculation modify the original hypothesis of McCartney and Talley (1982) of a smooth cyclonic pathway for SPMW advection and density increase around the subpolar gyre.

Brambilla, E, Talley LD, Robbins PE.  2008.  Subpolar Mode Water in the northeastern Atlantic: 2. Origin and transformation. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 113   10.1029/2006jc004063   AbstractWebsite

The processes that lead to the transformation and origin of the eastern North Atlantic Subpolar Mode Waters (SPMW) are investigated from observational data using an extended Walin framework. Air-sea flux data from the National Oceanography Center, Southampton (NOCS), and hydrographic data from the A24 cruise collected during the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) are used to estimate the contribution of diapycnal and isopycnal fluxes to the density classes that include SPMW. Surface diapycnal volume flux is the dominant source of waters in the SPMW density. In the North Atlantic subpolar gyre the diapycnal volume flux occurs along the main branches of the North Atlantic Current (NAC) and it has an average transport of 14 +/- 6.5 Sv, with a maximum of 21.5 Sv across the 27.35(sigma theta) isopycnal. The regional distribution of the diapycnal flux on isopycnal surfaces is computed to identify the areas with the largest diapycnal flux. These regions coincide with the location of SPMW based on potential vorticity. The surface diapycnal flux is associated with obduction and subduction through the permanent pycnocline. Therefore, the water involved in the transformation of SPMWs is continuously exchanged with the ocean interior. In addition, we suggest that subduction is not associated with smooth advection from the mixed layer to the ocean interior, but is water mass loss entrainment into the deep overflows of the subpolar gyre. The isopycnal component of the SPMW throughput is estimated from the geostrophic transport across the A24 section from Greenland to Scotland and is 10% to 40% of the diapycnal flux.

Brambilla, E, Talley LD.  2006.  Surface drifter exchange between the North Atlantic subtropical and subpolar gyres. Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans. 111   10.1029/2005jc003146   AbstractWebsite

[ 1] Surface drifters deployed in the subtropical and subpolar North Atlantic from 1990 to 2002 show almost no connection between the subtropical and subpolar gyres; only one drifter crosses the intergyre boundary even though other data types ( e. g., dynamic topography and tracers) suggest a major connection. Two of several possible causes for the lack of intergyre connectivity in this two-dimensional data set are examined: ( 1) undersampling and short drifter lifetime leading to underestimation of the northward flow, and ( 2) the southward mean Ekman velocity. Advection of a large number of long-lived synthetic drifters through the observed mean velocity results in a 5% increase in cross-gyre flux compared with that for synthetic drifters with realistic lifetimes. By further advecting synthetic drifters through the observed mean velocity field with and without the Ekman component, estimated from the wind field associated with the actual drifters, it is shown that removal of the Ekman component further increases the intergyre flux by up to 6%. With a turbulent component added to the mean velocity field to simulate the eddy field, there is a further increase in connection by 5%. Thus the Ekman and eddy contributions to the drifter trajectories nearly cancel each other. Consideration of three-dimensional processes ( subduction and obduction) is reserved for complete modeling studies.

Talley, L, Fine R, Lumpkin R, Maximenko N, Morrow R.  2010.  Surface Ventilation and Circulation. Proceedings of OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society. 1( Hall J, Harrison DE, Stammer D, Eds.).   10.5270/OceanObs09.pp.38   Abstract
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine.  2017.  Sustaining ocean observations to understand future changes in earth’s climate. :150., Washington, DC: The National Academies Press   10.17226/24919   Abstract

The ocean is an integral component of the Earth’s climate system. It covers about 70% of the Earth’s surface and acts as its primary reservoir of heat and carbon, absorbing over 90% of the surplus heat and about 30% of the carbon dioxide associated with human activities, and receiving close to 100% of fresh water lost from land ice. With the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, notably carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion, the Earth’s climate is now changing more rapidly than at any time since the advent of human societies. Society will increasingly face complex decisions about how to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change such as droughts, sea-level rise, ocean acidification, species loss, changes to growing seasons, and stronger and possibly more frequent storms. Observations play a foundational role in documenting the state and variability of components of the climate system and facilitating climate prediction and scenario development. Regular and consistent collection of ocean observations over decades to centuries would monitor the Earth’s main reservoirs of heat, carbon dioxide, and water and provides a critical record of long-term change and variability over multiple time scales. Sustained high-quality observations are also needed to test and improve climate models, which provide insights into the future climate system. Sustaining Ocean Observations to Understand Future Changes in Earth’s Climate considers processes for identifying priority ocean observations that will improve understanding of the Earth’s climate processes, and the challenges associated with sustaining these observations over long timeframes.

Oka, E, Uehara K, Nakano T, Suga T, Yanagimoto D, Kouketsu S, Itoh S, Katsura S, Talley LD.  2014.  Synoptic observation of Central Mode Water in its formation region in spring 2003. Journal of Oceanography. 70:521-534.   10.1007/s10872-014-0248-2   AbstractWebsite

Hydrographic data east of Japan from five research cruises and Argo profiling floats in spring 2003 have been analyzed to examine the relationship of the formation of Central Mode Water (CMW) and Transition Region Mode Water (TRMW) in late winter 2003 to thermohaline fronts and mesoscale eddies. TRMW and the denser variety of CMW (D-CMW) were formed continuously just south of the subarctic frontal zone between 155 degrees E and 165 degrees W with little relation to eddies, suggesting that the absence of the permanent thermocline and halocline in this area is essential for the formation. The lighter variety of CMW (L-CMW) was formed south of the Kuroshio bifurcation front and east of 165 degrees E, partly in an anticyclonic eddy associated with the Kuroshio Extension. Some portion of D-CMW and L-CMW likely had been subducted to the permanent pycnocline by crossing southward the Kuroshio bifurcation front and the Kuroshio Extension front, respectively. In contrast, the formation of these waters in the western regions was inactive and was significantly different from that described previously using multiyear Argo float data. West of 155 degrees E, TRMW and D-CMW were formed only in two anticyclonic eddies that had been detached from the Kuroshio Extension 1-2 years ago. L-CMW was hardly formed west of 165 degrees E, which might be related to the upstream Kuroshio Extension being in its stable state characterized by low regional eddy activity.