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High Latitude Atmosphere Ocean Coupling in Sea Level Records

Hibbert, Angela. 2011 High Latitude Atmosphere Ocean Coupling in Sea Level Records. University of Liverpool, Earth and Ocean Sciences, PhD Thesis, 210pp.

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Abstract/Summary

The response of the polar oceans to local, regional and remote atmospheric forcing is examined in this thesis, using sea level as an indicator of the oceanic response. In the Southern Ocean, sea level fluctuations are shown to be largely coherent and barotropically-forced at monthly to interannual timescales. This appears to be related to local and remotely-generated atmospheric modes of variability that are associated with changes in the strength of the mid-latitude westerly winds such as the Southern Annular Mode, the Semiannual Oscillation and the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation. In the Arctic Ocean, there is also evidence that sea level is influenced by a number of atmospheric patterns, such as those represented by the Northern Annular Mode and the North Atlantic Oscillation, but the contributions made by each of these is difficult to establish. This is partly because a number of these modes appear to be inter-related and exhibit geographical dependencies in their associations with sea level, but the situation is exacerbated by the greater perceived role of baroclinic ocean effects in driving Arctic Ocean sea levels than appears to be the case for the Southern Ocean.

Item Type: Publication - Thesis (PhD)
Programmes: POL Programmes > Sea-level, bottom pressure and space geodesy
NOC Programmes
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Date made live: 16 Jul 2012 14:25
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/18671

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