UW Aquatic & Fishery Sciences Quantitative Seminar

LuAnne Thompson

School of Oceanography, University of Washington

Air-sea interaction in the North Atlantic: exploring coupling using observations and a modeling framework


In this talk, I will explore air-sea interactions in the North Atlantic by examining the local temporal relationship between sea surface temperature and the exchange of heat with the atmosphere. I also use satellite sea level as a proxy for upper ocean heat content to examine where and when heat stored away from the surface ocean is exchanged with the atmosphere. I use the framework of a simple model for air-sea interaction to understand where SST and heat content anomalies are generated, and where they are released back to the atmosphere. Throughout much of the basin, SST anomalies are generated and then subsequently released locally. In contrast, in the Gulf Stream, heat content anomalies feedback strongly to the atmosphere, and these heat anomalies are not generated locally. I will also discuss evidence for impacts of released heat on the atmosphere.

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