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Using Eulerian and Lagrangian Approaches to Investigate Wind-Driven Changes in the Southern Ocean Abyssal Circulation

Spence, Paul, Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), Faculty of Science, UNSW; van Sebille, Erik, Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), Faculty of Science, UNSW; Saenko, O; England, Matthew, Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), Faculty of Science, UNSW

2013 ;DOI:10.1175/JPO-D-13-0108.1

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  • Title:
    Using Eulerian and Lagrangian Approaches to Investigate Wind-Driven Changes in the Southern Ocean Abyssal Circulation
  • Author/Creator/Curator: Spence, Paul, Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), Faculty of Science, UNSW; van Sebille, Erik, Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), Faculty of Science, UNSW; Saenko, O; England, Matthew, Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), Faculty of Science, UNSW
  • Resource type: Journal Article
  • Date: 2013
  • Publication details: Journal of Physical Oceanography; v. 44; no. 2; pp.662-675; 0022-3670 (ISSN)
  • Language: English
  • Publisher Statement: © Copyright (2013) American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act September 2010 Page 2 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMSÂ’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at (http://www.ametsoc.org/) or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or copyrights@ametsoc.org.
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  • Description: This study uses a global ocean eddy-permitting climate model to explore the export of abyssal water from the Southern Ocean and its sensitivity to projected twenty-first-century poleward-intensifying Southern Ocean wind stress. The abyssal flow pathways and transport are investigated using a combination of Lagrangian and Eulerian techniques. In an Eulerian format, the equator- and poleward flows within similar abyssal density classes are increased by the wind stress changes, making it difficult to explicitly diagnose changes in the abyssal export in a meridional overturning circulation framework. Lagrangian particle analyses are used to identify the major export pathways of Southern Ocean abyssal waters and reveal an increase in the number of particles exported to the subtropics from source regions around Antarctica in response to the wind forcing. Both the Lagrangian particle and Eulerian analyses identify transients as playing a key role in the abyssal export of water from the Southern Ocean. Wind-driven modifications to the potential energy component of the vorticity balance in the abyss are also found to impact the Southern Ocean barotropic circulation.

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