Examining the Origins of Ocean Heat Content Variability in the Eastern North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We analyze sources of ocean heat content (OHC) variability in the eastern North Atlantic subpolar gyre from both Eulerian and Lagrangian perspectives within two ocean simulations from 1990 to 2015. Heat budgets reveal that while the OHC seasonal cycle is driven by air-sea fluxes, interannual OHC variability is driven by both air-sea fluxes and the divergence of ocean heat transport, the latter of which is dominated by the oceanic flux through the southern face of the study area. Lagrangian trajectories initialized along the southern face and run backward in time indicate that interannual variability in the subtropical-origin volume flux (i.e., the upper limb of the overturning circulation) drives variability in the temperature flux through the southern face. As such, the heat carried by the imported subtropical waters is an important component of the eastern subpolar gyre heat budget on interannual time scales.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Foukal, NP; Lozier, MS

Published Date

  • October 28, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 45 / 20

Start / End Page

  • 11 - 283

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1944-8007

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0094-8276

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1029/2018GL079122

Citation Source

  • Scopus