Nonlinear Responses of Oceanic Temperature to Wind Stress Anomalies in Tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans: A Study Based on Numerical Experiments with an OGCM

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  • Corresponding author: YU Yongqiang, yyq@lasg.iap.ac.cn
  • Funds:

    Supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program Climate Change: Carbon Budget and Relevant Issues of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA05110302), National (Key) Basic Research and Development (973) Program of China (2013CB956204), and Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change.

  • doi: 10.1007/s13351-015-4115-x

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  • As a highly nonlinear dynamic system, oceanic general circulation models (OGCMs) usually exhibit nonlinear responses to prescribed wind stress forcing. To explore mechanisms for these nonlinear responses, we designed and conducted three idealized numerical experiments with an OGCM with modified wind stress forcing. In the experiments, the climatological mean wind stress was identical, and the only differences in external forcing were wind stress anomalies. The wind anomalies were set to zero in a control run, and the observed wind stress anomalies with and without reversed signs were superimposed on the mean climatology in two sensitivity experiments. Forced by the prescribed wind stress anomalies in sensitivity runs, the OGCM well reproduced the El Nio-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) in the Indian Ocean, as well as the asymmetry between positive and negative phases of these modes. Relative to the control run, the two sensitivity runs exhibited almost identical changes in the mean climate state, although the wind stress anomalies were reversed in these two experiments. Thus, it was concluded that the asymmetry of wind stress anomalies contributes only slightly to the mean state changes and ocean internal dynamics was the main contributor. Further heat budget analysis suggested that nonlinear temperature advection terms, including both mean advection and perturbed advection, favor the ENSO/IOD rectified effect on the mean state.
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Nonlinear Responses of Oceanic Temperature to Wind Stress Anomalies in Tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans: A Study Based on Numerical Experiments with an OGCM

    Corresponding author: YU Yongqiang, yyq@lasg.iap.ac.cn
  • 1. State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics,Institute of Atmospheric Physics,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100029;
  • 2. College of Earth Sciences,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100049
Funds: Supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program Climate Change: Carbon Budget and Relevant Issues of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA05110302), National (Key) Basic Research and Development (973) Program of China (2013CB956204), and Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change.

Abstract: As a highly nonlinear dynamic system, oceanic general circulation models (OGCMs) usually exhibit nonlinear responses to prescribed wind stress forcing. To explore mechanisms for these nonlinear responses, we designed and conducted three idealized numerical experiments with an OGCM with modified wind stress forcing. In the experiments, the climatological mean wind stress was identical, and the only differences in external forcing were wind stress anomalies. The wind anomalies were set to zero in a control run, and the observed wind stress anomalies with and without reversed signs were superimposed on the mean climatology in two sensitivity experiments. Forced by the prescribed wind stress anomalies in sensitivity runs, the OGCM well reproduced the El Nio-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) in the Indian Ocean, as well as the asymmetry between positive and negative phases of these modes. Relative to the control run, the two sensitivity runs exhibited almost identical changes in the mean climate state, although the wind stress anomalies were reversed in these two experiments. Thus, it was concluded that the asymmetry of wind stress anomalies contributes only slightly to the mean state changes and ocean internal dynamics was the main contributor. Further heat budget analysis suggested that nonlinear temperature advection terms, including both mean advection and perturbed advection, favor the ENSO/IOD rectified effect on the mean state.

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