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Meridional heat transport by the subtropical cell

Meridional heat transport by the subtropical cell
Meridional heat transport by the subtropical cell
The wind-driven circulation adds a significant contribution to poleward meridional heat transport. Numerical models indicate that equatorward of 0, the zero wind stress latitude (30° lat), most of the wind-induced heat transport is due to the meridional overturning circulation known as the subtropical cell. The volume transport of this overturning is approximately given by the surface Ekman transport. By combining this fact with the assumption that Ekman-downwelled water approximately follows isotherms except near the equator, the authors derive an expression for the meridional heat transport that depends only on wind stress and surface temperature. The expression is confirmed in numerical models with simplified geometry and forcing. Numerical results indicate that peak heat transport due to the subtropical cell is about 0.1 × 1015 W for the North Atlantic and 0.3 × 1015 W for the North Pacific.
WOCE, HEAT TRANSPORT, WIND STRESS, WIND DRIVEN CIRCULATION, MERIDIONAL CIRCULATION, SURFACE TEMPERATURE, OCEAN MODELS
0022-3670
696-705
Klinger, B.A.
85e68361-bf4c-49c3-8a86-3faca1f3900c
Marotzke, J.
6047bfd1-68a3-4abe-95ce-e1df9a56ce76
Klinger, B.A.
85e68361-bf4c-49c3-8a86-3faca1f3900c
Marotzke, J.
6047bfd1-68a3-4abe-95ce-e1df9a56ce76

Klinger, B.A. and Marotzke, J. (2000) Meridional heat transport by the subtropical cell. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 30 (4), 696-705. (doi:10.1175/1520-0485(2000)030<0696:MHTBTS>2.0.CO;2).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The wind-driven circulation adds a significant contribution to poleward meridional heat transport. Numerical models indicate that equatorward of 0, the zero wind stress latitude (30° lat), most of the wind-induced heat transport is due to the meridional overturning circulation known as the subtropical cell. The volume transport of this overturning is approximately given by the surface Ekman transport. By combining this fact with the assumption that Ekman-downwelled water approximately follows isotherms except near the equator, the authors derive an expression for the meridional heat transport that depends only on wind stress and surface temperature. The expression is confirmed in numerical models with simplified geometry and forcing. Numerical results indicate that peak heat transport due to the subtropical cell is about 0.1 × 1015 W for the North Atlantic and 0.3 × 1015 W for the North Pacific.

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More information

Published date: 2000
Keywords: WOCE, HEAT TRANSPORT, WIND STRESS, WIND DRIVEN CIRCULATION, MERIDIONAL CIRCULATION, SURFACE TEMPERATURE, OCEAN MODELS

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 8875
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/8875
ISSN: 0022-3670
PURE UUID: b807299f-5596-4236-9336-112f36049687

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Sep 2004
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:12

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