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Local Air-Sea Interactions at Ocean Mesoscale in Western Boundary Currents
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  • Ehud Strobach,
  • Patrice Klein,
  • Andrea Molod,
  • Abdullah A. Fahad,
  • Atanas Trayanov,
  • Dimitris Menemenlis,
  • Hector S Torres
Ehud Strobach
Agricultural Research Organization

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Patrice Klein
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology - CNRS
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Andrea Molod
Goddard Space Flight Center(NASA)
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Abdullah A. Fahad
University of Maryland
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Atanas Trayanov
Science Applications International Corporation (United States)
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Dimitris Menemenlis
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
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Hector S Torres
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
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We present results from a new, global, high-resolution (~4-km for ocean and ~7-km for atmosphere) realistic earth system simulation. This simulation allows us to examine aspects of small-scale air-sea interaction beyond what previous studies have reported. Our study focuses on recurring intermittent wind events in the Gulf Stream region. These events induce local air-sea heat fluxes above Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies with horizontal scales smaller than 500-km. In particular, strong latent heat bursts above warm SST anomalies are observed during these wind events. We show that such wind events are associated with a secondary circulation that acts to fuel the latent heat bursts by transferring dry air and momentum down to the surface. The intensity of this secondary circulation is related to the strength of small-scale SST fronts that border SST anomalies. The study of such phenomena requires high-resolution in both the atmospheric and oceanic components of the model.