Sources of the Equatorial Undercurrent in the Atlantic in a high-resolution ocean model
- W Hazeleger, P De Vries, Y Friocourt
- J. Phys. Oceanogr
The properties of water masses in the ocean are set by air-sea interactions at the surface and convective overturning. As direct transfer of heat and salt to the deep ocean is not possible, to first-order approximation these properties do not change when in the interior ocean water masses are advected. The pathways followed by the water masses connect different regions of air-sea interaction in the world ocean. They are not confined to single ocean basins, but may extend over very long distances before the water is re-injected into the surface mixed layer. Through the connecting pathways in the ocean, air-sea interaction in one region can affect climate in another region. Analysing the oceanic pathways gives insight in the transports that play a critical role in the climate system and determine the stability of the present climate.