Sea surface temperature budgets and mechanisms controlling upper ocean climate variability

Author: Rui M. Ponte, Nadya Vinogradova and P. Heimbach
Date: 
March 2, 2008 - March 7, 2008
Type: 
Presentation
Venue: 
AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando
Citation: 

Ponte, R.M., N.T. Vinogradova, and P. Heimbach, 2008. Sea surface temperature budgets and mechanisms controlling upper ocean climate variability, AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting, Orlando, March 2008.

Quantitative knowledge of upper ocean variability and its causes is essential for understanding air-sea interaction and climate dynamics. Here we examine the sea surface temperature (SST) budget over the global ocean using the ECCO-GODAE ocean state estimates for the period from 1992 to 2006. The ECCO-GODAE estimates, obtained by minimizing differences between an ocean model and most available observations in a least-squares sense, have no spurious internal sources or sinks of momentum, heat, or freshwater and are most appropriate for budget studies, including those of SST. To determine the mechanisms controlling SST variability, the contributions to SST tendencies from advection, mixing and surface forcing processes are considered as a function of location and time scale. Seasonal and longer periods are emphasized, and the relative importance of external atmospheric forcing and internal ocean processes is discussed in detail.