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Oceanography in Japan
Online ISSN : 2186-3105
Print ISSN : 0916-8362
ISSN-L : 0916-8362
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Review
  • Shang-Ping Xie
    Article type: review-article
    2023 Volume 32 Issue 5-6 Pages 95-107
    Published: December 25, 2023
    Released on J-STAGE: December 27, 2023
    DOI
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

    A scientific revolution was underway in the 1980s treating the ocean and atmosphere as a coupled system. In addition to Bjerknes feedback for El Nino in the equatorial upwelling zone, wind-evaporation-sea surface temperature (WES) feedback was originally proposed to explain the northward-displaced intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) but broadened to explain the Pacific meridional mode, a key conduit for mid-latitude atmospheric variability to affect tropical climate. Since the 1990s, satellite-borne microwave sensors led to the discovery of narrow (<1,000 km) features in the ocean and atmosphere, including the long wake of Hawaii and ubiquitous ocean forcing of the atmospheric boundary layer across ocean fronts and eddies. My recent research probes how anthropogenic climate change is altering the ocean circulation. A major finding is that surface buoyancy forcing dominates while wind change is secondary as illustrated in the example of the surface acceleration of the subtropical gyre. A new chapter of ocean-atmospheric dynamics awaits to be written as growing climate change unveils its structure and patterns.

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