Covariability of Surface Wind and Stress Responses to Sea Surface Temperature Fronts Public Deposited

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  • The responses of surface wind and wind stress to spatial variations of sea surface temperature (SST) are investigated using satellite observations of the surface wind from the Quick Scatterometer (QuikSCAT) and SST from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (EOS) (AMSR-E) Aqua satellite. This analysis considers the 7-yr period June 2002–May 2009 during which both instruments were operating. Attention is focused in the Kuroshio, North and South Atlantic, and Agulhas Return Current regions. Since scatterometer wind stresses are computed solely as a nonlinear function of the scatterometer-derived 10-m equivalent neutral wind speed (ENW), qualitatively similar responses of the stress and ENW to SST are expected. However, the responses are found to be more complicated on the oceanic mesoscale. First, the stress and ENW are both approximately linearly related to SST, despite a nonlinear relationship between them. Second, the stress response to SST is 2 to 5 times stronger during winter compared to summer, while the ENW response to SST exhibits relatively little seasonal variability. Finally, the stress response to SST can be strong in regions where the ENW response is weak and vice versa. A straightforward algebraic manipulation shows that the stress perturbations are directly proportional to the ENW perturbations multiplied by a nonlinear function of the ambient large-scale ENW. This proportionality explains why both the stress and ENW depend linearly on the mesoscale SST perturbations, while the dependence of the stress perturbations on the ambient large-scale ENW explains both the seasonal pulsing and the geographic variability of the stress response to SST compared with the less variable ENW response.
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  • O’Neill, Larry W., Dudley B. Chelton, Steven K. Esbensen, 2012: Covariability of Surface Wind and Stress Responses to Sea Surface Temperature Fronts. Journal of Climate, 25, 5916–5942. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00230.1
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-11-27T19:51:23Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 CheltonDudleyCEOASCovariabilitySurfaceWind.pdf: 7881795 bytes, checksum: de93b2c3f615b5d1da19de23bd0c56b0 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2012-09-01
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deanne Bruner (deanne.bruner@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-11-27T19:51:23Z No. of bitstreams: 1 CheltonDudleyCEOASCovariabilitySurfaceWind.pdf: 7881795 bytes, checksum: de93b2c3f615b5d1da19de23bd0c56b0 (MD5)

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