Ocean-to-Ocean Dissimilarities of Salty Subtropical Surface Water

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 4:00 PM
Arnold L Gordon, Columbia University of New York, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, United States
Each ocean basin displays its own 'personality', reflecting its degree of isolation or connectivity to the global ocean, its place in the interocean exchange network and associated ocean overturning circulation systems, as well as regional circulation and air-sea exchange patterns. While dissimilarities are most notable in the northern hemisphere (the salty North Atlantic vs the fresher North Pacific; as well as the salty Arabian and the fresher Bay of Bengal, a miniature Atlantic/Pacific analog?) far removed from the grand equalizing interocean link of the circum-Antarctic belt, and where large continental blocks impose contrasting forcing, the southern hemisphere ocean basins also display differences. Ocean to ocean dissimilarities are evident in the dry subtropical climate belt, marked by deserts on land and salty surface ocean water. The subtropical sea surface salinity maximum (SSS-max) patterns of 5 the subtropical regimes (the North and South Atlantic, North and South Pacific, and the southern Indian Ocean) display significant dissimilarities in their relative position within their ocean basin, in the structure and seasonality of the SSS-max pattern. The near synoptic coverage of Aquarius and Argo profilers are further defining interannual variability. The South Atlantic SSS-max is pressed against the western boundary, whereas in the other regimes the SSS-max falls within the eastern half of the ocean basin, though the western South Pacific displays a secondary SSS-max. For further details see: A. Gordon, C. Giulivi, J. Busecke, F. Bingham, submitted to the SPURS Oceanography special issue.