The cold transit of Southern Ocean upwelling

Evans, Dafydd Gwyn ORCID:; Zika, Jan D.; Naveira Garabato, Alberto C.; Nurser, A. J. George. 2018 The cold transit of Southern Ocean upwelling. Geophysical Research Letters, 45 (24).

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The upwelling of deep waters in the Southern Ocean is a critical component of the climate system. The time and zonal mean dynamics of this circulation describe the upwelling of Circumpolar Deep Water and the downwelling of Antarctic Intermediate Water. The thermodynamic drivers of the circulation and their seasonal cycle play a potentially key regulatory role. Here an observationally constrained ocean model and an observation‐based seasonal climatology are analyzed from a thermodynamic perspective, to assess the diabatic processes controlling overturning in the Southern Ocean. This reveals a seasonal two‐stage cold transit in the formation of intermediate water from upwelled deep water. First, relatively warm and saline deep water is transformed into colder and fresher near‐surface winter water via wintertime mixing. Second, winter water warms to form intermediate water through summertime surface heat fluxes. The mixing‐driven pathway from deep water to winter water follows mixing lines in thermohaline coordinates indicative of nonlinear processes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00948276
Date made live: 23 Jan 2019 14:30 +0 (UTC)

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