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What Maintains the SST Front North of the Eastern Pacific Equatorial Cold Tongue?

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dc.creator de Szoeke, Simon P.
dc.creator Xie, Shang-Ping
dc.creator Miyama, Toru
dc.creator Richards, Kelvin J.
dc.creator Small, R. Justin O.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-04-18T23:11:26Z
dc.date.available 2012-04-18T23:11:26Z
dc.date.issued 2007-06
dc.identifier.citation de Szoeke, Simon P., Shang-Ping Xie, Toru Miyama, Kelvin J. Richards, R. Justin O. Small, 2007: What Maintains the SST Front North of the Eastern Pacific Equatorial Cold Tongue?*. Journal of Climate, 20, 2500–2514. en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/28821
dc.description.abstract A coupled ocean–atmosphere regional model suggests a mechanism for formation of a sharp sea surface temperature (SST) front north of the equator in the eastern Pacific Ocean in boreal summer and fall. Meridional convergence of Ekman transport at 5°N is forced by eastward turning of the southeasterly cross-equatorial wind, but the SST front forms considerably south of the maximum Ekman convergence. Geostrophic equatorward flow at 3°N in the lower half of the isothermally mixed layer enhances mixed layer convergence. Cold water is upwelled on or south of the equator and is advected poleward by mean mixed layer flow and by eddies. The mixed layer current convergence in the north confines the cold advection, so the SST front stays close to the equator. Warm advection from the north and cold advection from the south strengthen the front. In the Southern Hemisphere, a continuous southwestward current advects cold water far from the upwelling core. The cold tongue is warmed by the net surface flux, which is dominated by solar radiation. Evaporation and net surface cooling are at a maximum just north of the SST front where relatively cool dry air is advected northward over warm SST. The surface heat flux is decomposed into a response to SST alone, and an atmospheric feedback. The atmospheric feedback enhances cooling on the north side of the front by 178 W m⁻², about half of which is due to enhanced evaporation from cold dry advection, while the other half is due to cloud radiative forcing. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work has been funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as category 7 of the RR2002 Project. The authors wish to acknowledge the support of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Meteorological Society en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Journal of Climate en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Vol. 20 no. 11 en_US
dc.subject Fronts en_US
dc.subject Sea surface temperature en_US
dc.subject Ekman pumping en_US
dc.subject Convergence en_US
dc.subject Heat flux en_US
dc.title What Maintains the SST Front North of the Eastern Pacific Equatorial Cold Tongue? en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1175/JCLI4173.1

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