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Water & Energy Cycles

We propose to investigate the coupling between atmospheric variability and path changes of the Gulf Stream (GS) and Kuroshio Extension (KE) primarily based on the satellite observations and the OAFlux dataset, a new gridded surface flux and wind dataset with high temporal and spatial resolution. The time scale of interest spans from the year-to-year changes in the synoptic weather activity to the long-term trends. Some evidence of the GS and KE influencing the overlying atmosphere became available only recently thanks to the advance of high resolution satellite observations (Chelton et al. 2004; Minobe et al. 2008). Especially, Minobe et al. (2008) demonstrated that the GS anchors not only the convergence of surface wind but also the heating and precipitation extending to the upper troposphere. They suggested that the atmospheric response to the heating by the GS may drive a large scale atmospheric circulation extending downstream to the Eurasian continent. However, their analysis is based on climatological annual mean fields, which is the case for the most of the previous studies. Therefore, we propose to examine the influence of GS and KE on the variability of atmosphere in the boundary layer as well as the free troposphere. North-south migration of the path is responsible for the leading mode of GS and KE variability and is a very effective way to create a large SST and upper ocean heat content anomalies (Kwon and Deser 2007). Thus, we will focus on the coupling between the atmospheric variability and the path variations of the GS and KE. Furthermore, we propose to use the derived paths based on the subsurface temperature information which is relatively free from the local atmospheric forcing, so that we can readily examine the oceanic influence on the local and remote atmosphere.

Project PI: Terrence Joyce/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 266 Woods Hole Rd. MS# 21 Woods Hole, Ma. 02543

Phone: 508 289 2530

Fax: 508 457 2181

Email: tjoyce@whoi.edu

http://www.whoi.edu/profile.do?id=tjoyce

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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 16, 2010

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