Atmospheric Response to Mesoscale Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies: Assessment of Mechanisms and Coupling Strength in a High-Resolution Coupled Model over the South Atlantic

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Author(s) Byrne, David, Papritz, Lukas, Frenger, Ivy, Münnich, Matthias, Gruber, Nicolas
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title Atmospheric Response to Mesoscale Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies: Assessment of Mechanisms and Coupling Strength in a High-Resolution Coupled Model over the South Atlantic
Author(s) Byrne, David
Papritz, Lukas
Frenger, Ivy
Münnich, Matthias
Gruber, Nicolas
Journal or Series Title Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume Number 72
Issue Number 5
Start Page 1872
End Page 1890
ISSN 0022-4928
1520-0469
Publisher American Meteorological Society
Publication Place Boston, MA
Publication Date 2015-05
Abstract Many aspects of the coupling between the ocean and atmosphere at the mesoscale (on the order of 20-100 km) remain unknown. While recent observations from the Southern Ocean revealed that circular fronts associated with oceanic mesoscale eddies leave a distinct imprint on the overlying wind, cloud coverage, and rain, the mechanisms responsible for explaining these atmospheric changes are not well established. Here the atmospheric response above mesoscale ocean eddies is investigated utilizing a newly developed coupled atmosphere-ocean regional model [Consortium for Small-Scale Modeling-Regional Ocean Modelling System (COSMO-ROMS)] configured at a horizontal resolution of similar to 10 km for the South Atlantic and run for a 3-month period during austral winter of 2004. The model-simulated changes in surface wind, cloud fraction, and rain above the oceanic eddies are very consistent with the relationships inferred from satellite observations for the same region and time. From diagnosing the model's momentum balance, it is shown that the atmospheric imprint of the oceanic eddies are driven by the modification of vertical mixing in the atmospheric boundary layer, rather than secondary flows driven by horizontal pressure gradients. This is largely due to the very limited ability of the atmosphere to adjust its temperature over the time scale it takes for an air parcel to pass over these mesoscale oceanic features. This results in locally enhanced vertical gradients between the ocean surface and the overlying air and thus a rapid change in turbulent mixing in the atmospheric boundary layer and an associated change in the vertical momentum flux.
DOI 10.1175/JAS-D-14-0195.1
Additional Notes Received 10 July 2014, Final Form 2 December 2014
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03854
03731
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NEBIS System Number 000031455
Source Database ID WOS-000353840100011
SCOPUS-84943803790
FORM-1454058027
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@article{Byrn2015,
  author = "Byrne, David and Papritz, Lukas and Frenger, Ivy and M{\"{u}}nnich, Matthias and Gruber, Nicolas",
  title = "{A}tmospheric {R}esponse to {M}esoscale {S}ea {S}urface {T}emperature {A}nomalies: {A}ssessment of {M}echanisms and {C}oupling {S}trength in a {H}igh-{R}esolution {C}oupled {M}odel over the {S}outh {A}tlantic",
  journal = "Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences",
  year = 2015,
  volume = "72",
  number = "5",
  pages = "1872--1890",
  month = may,
}


E-Citations record created: Tue, 26 May 2015, 08:13:54 CET