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Relationship between Surface Temperature and Heat

PI: Bin Yu
Institution: Climate Research Division, Environment Canada
Energy exchanges at the air-sea interface together with the ocean advection govern the formation, maintenance and decay of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies. Based on the surface energy budget, the sea surface temperature (SST) variance is related to the product of three factors: the sum of the variances of surface radiative and turbulent energy fluxes and of ocean heat transport, an efficiency factor depending on the covariances among them, and a transfer factor involving the persistence of surface temperature via its lagged autocorrelation (Yu and Boer, 2006, Clim. Dyn). These quantities have been analyzed based on results from the NCEP/NCAR reanalyses and a simulation with the CCCma coupled climate model. It is found that the geographical distribution of the SST variance follows that of the sum of the variances of surface heat fluxes and the ocean heat transport, but modified by the defined efficiency and transfer factors.

The relationship between the SST and heat flux anomalies is complex and model dependent (e.g., WCRP, 2000). Therefore, the proposed project aims to further examine the above relationship between the SST and heat flux anomalies by using IPCC AR4 CGCMs outputs, and to understand the physical processes associated with the relation.

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    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory  |  Physical & Life Sciences Directorate