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Matthews, AJ, Baranowski DB, Heywood KJ, Flatau PJ, Schmidtko S.  2014.  The surface diurnal warm layer in the Indian Ocean during CINDY/DYNAMO. Journal of Climate. 27:9101-9122.   10.1175/jcli-d-14-00222.1   AbstractWebsite

A surface diurnal warm layer is diagnosed from Seaglider observations and develops on half of the days in the Cooperative Indian Ocean Experiment on Intraseasonal Variability/Dynamics of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (CINDY/DYNAMO) Indian Ocean experiment. The diurnal warm layer occurs on days of high solar radiation flux (>80 W m(-2)) and low wind speed (<6 ms(-1)) and preferentially in the inactive stage of the Madden-Julian oscillation. Its diurnal harmonic has an exponential vertical structure with a depth scale of 4-5m (dependent on chlorophyll concentration), consistent with forcing by absorption of solar radiation. The effective sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly due to the diurnal warm layer often reaches 0.8 degrees C in the afternoon, with a daily mean of 0.2 degrees C, rectifying the diurnal cycle onto longer time scales. This SST anomaly drives an anomalous flux of 4Wm(-2) that cools the ocean. Alternatively, in a climate model where this process is unresolved, this represents an erroneous flux that warms the ocean. A simple model predicts a diurnal warm layer to occur on 30%-50% of days across the tropical warm pool. On the remaining days, with low solar radiation and high wind speeds, a residual diurnal cycle is observed by the Seaglider, with a diurnal harmonic of temperature that decreases linearly with depth. As wind speed increases, this already weak temperature gradient decreases further, tending toward isothermal conditions.

Baranowski, DB, Flatau PJ, Chen S, Black PG.  2014.  Upper ocean response to the passage of two sequential typhoons. Ocean Science. 10:559-570.   10.5194/os-10-559-2014   AbstractWebsite

The atmospheric wind stress forcing and the oceanic response are examined for the period between 15 September 2008 and 6 October 2008, during which two typhoons - Hagupit and Jangmi - passed through the same region of the western Pacific at Saffir-Simpson intensity categories one and three, respectively. A three-dimensional oceanic mixed layer model is compared against the remote sensing observations as well as high-repetition Argo float data. Numerical model simulations suggested that magnitude of the cooling caused by the second typhoon, Jangmi, would have been significantly larger if the ocean had not already been influenced by the first typhoon, Hagupit. It is estimated that the temperature anomaly behind Jangmi would have been about 0.4 degrees C larger in both cold wake and left side of the track. The numerical simulations suggest that the magnitude and position of Jangmi's cold wake depends on the precursor state of the ocean as well as lag between typhoons. Based on sensitivity experiments we show that temperature anomaly difference between "single typhoon" and "two typhoons" as well as magnitude of the cooling strongly depends on the distance between them. The amount of kinetic energy and coupling with inertial oscillations are important factors for determining magnitude of the temperature anomaly behind moving typhoons. This paper indicates that studies of ocean-atmosphere tropical cyclone interaction will benefit from denser, high-repetition Argo float measurements.

Flatau, MK, Talley L, Niiler PP.  2003.  The North Atlantic Oscillation, surface current velocities, and SST changes in the subpolar North Atlantic. Journal of Climate. 16:2355-2369.   10.1175/2787.1   AbstractWebsite

Changes in surface circulation in the subpolar North Atlantic are documented for the recent interannual switch in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index from positive values in the early 1990s to negative values in 1995/96. Data from Lagrangian drifters, which were deployed in the North Atlantic from 1992 to 1998, were used to compute the mean and varying surface currents. NCEP winds were used to calculate the Ekman component, allowing isolation of the geostrophic currents. The mean Ekman velocities are considerably smaller than the mean total velocities that resemble historical analyses. The northeastward flow of the North Atlantic Current is organized into three strong cores associated with topography: along the eastern boundary in Rockall Trough, in the Iceland Basin ( the subpolar front), and on the western flank of the Reykjanes Ridge (Irminger Current). The last is isolated in this Eulerian mean from the rest of the North Atlantic Current by a region of weak velocities on the east side of the Reykjanes Ridge. The drifter results during the two different NAO periods are compared with geostrophic flow changes calculated from the NASA/Pathfinder monthly gridded sea surface height (SSH) variability products and the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) SST data. During the positive NAO years the northeastward flow in the North Atlantic Current appeared stronger and the circulation in the cyclonic gyre in the Irminger Basin became more intense. This was consistent with the geostrophic velocities calculated from altimetry data and surface temperature changes from AVHRR SST data, which show that during the positive NAO years, with stronger westerlies, the subpolar front was sharper and located farther east. SST gradients intensified in the North Atlantic Current, Irminger Basin, and east of the Shetland Islands during the positive NAO phase, associated with stronger currents. SST differences between positive and negative NAO years were consistent with changes in air-sea heat flux and the eastward shift of the subpolar front. SST advection, as diagnosed from the drifters, likely acted to reduce the SST differences.

Valero, FPJ, Collins WD, Pilewskie P, Bucholtz A, Flatau PJ.  1997.  Direct radiometric observations of the water vapor greenhouse effect over the equatorial Pacific ocean. Science. 275:1773-1776.   10.1126/science.275.5307.1773   AbstractWebsite

Airborne radiometric measurements were used to determine tropospheric profiles of the clear sky greenhouse effect. At sea surface temperatures (SSTs) larger than 300 kelvin, the clear sky water vapor greenhouse effect was found to increase with SST at a rate of 13 to 15 watts per square meter per kelvin. Satellite measurements of infrared radiances and SSTs indicate that almost 52 percent of the tropical oceans between 20 degrees N and 20 degrees S are affected during all seasons. Current general circulation models suggest that the increase in the clear sky water vapor greenhouse effect with SST may have climatic effects an a planetary scale.