The physical ingredients of the ACC circulation are reviewed. A picture of thecirculation is sketched by means of recent observations of the WOCE decade. Wepresent and discuss the role of forcing functions (wind stress, surfacebuoyancy flux) in the balance of the (quasi)-zonal flow, the meridionalcirculation and their relation to the ACC transport. Emphasis will be on theinterrelation of the zonal momentum balance and the meridional circulation, theimportance of diapycnal mixing and eddy processes. Finally, new model conceptsare described: a model of the ACC transport dependence on wind stress andbuoyancy flux, based on linear wave theory; and a model of the meridionaloverturning of the Southern Ocean, based on zonally averaged dynamics with eddyparameterization.
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > POL2-Southern Ocean climate and ecosystem