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Circumpolar response of Southern Ocean eddy activity to a change in the Southern Annular Mode

Meredith, Michael P.; Hogg, Andrew M.. 2006 Circumpolar response of Southern Ocean eddy activity to a change in the Southern Annular Mode. Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (16), L16608. 4, pp. 10.1029/2006GL026499

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Abstract/Summary

Analysis of satellite altimeter data reveals anomalously high Eddy Kinetic Energy (EKE) in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) during the period 2000–2002. Around 2–3 years earlier (1998), the circumpolar eastward wind stress (as quantified by the Southern Annular Mode; SAM) showed a significant positive peak, and we have shown previously that the ACC peaked around 1998 in response. An eddy-resolving ocean model is used to investigate the delay between wind forcing and the eddy response, and demonstrates that the lag is due to the time taken to influence the deep circulation of the ACC. Winds over the Southern Ocean have shown a strong climatic increase over the past few decades. If this increase in winds is also reflected as an increase in eddy activity (as our analysis suggests it might), then the increased poleward heat flux may have played a significant role in the observed warming of the Southern Ocean.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1029/2006GL026499
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Global Science in the Antarctic Context (2005-2009) > DISCOVERY 2010 - Integrating Southern Ocean Ecosystems into the Earth System
ISSN: 0094-8276
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Full text not available from this repository
Additional Keywords: Eddies ; Ocean circulation ; Ocean currents ; Antarctic Circumpolar Current
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Date made live: 21 Aug 2007 13:36
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/84

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