In this study three prominent features of ocean surface turbulent heat fluxes (THF) trends during 1958-2013 are identifeed based on the Objectively Analyzed air-sea Fluxes (OAFlux). The associated ocean-atmosphere dynamics changes are investigated based on data of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR). First, the THF are enhanced over the mid-latitude expansions of the subtropical western boundary currents (WBCs). An intensified oceanic heat transport, forced by stronger near-surface zonal wind, is likely to be the cause of such THF tendency. Second, the THF are reduced over the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, which is primarily caused by the decreasing near-surface wind speed and sea surface temperature (SST), associated with a local coupled ocean-atmosphere cooling mode. Finally, the THF are reduced over the northern tropical Atlantic Ocean, which is attributed to the decreasing air-sea humidity and temperature differences as a result of the convergence of near-surface air and the divergence of ocean currents (upwelling).
Helmholtz Research Programs > PACES II (2014-2018) > TOPIC 3: The earth system from a polar perspective > WP 3.3: From process understanding to enabling climate prediction