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Transient atmospheric response to interactive SST anomalies

Ferreira, D. and Frankignoul, C. (2008) Transient atmospheric response to interactive SST anomalies. Journal of Climate, 21 (3). pp. 576-583. ISSN 1520-0442

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/2007JCLI1704.1


The transient atmospheric response to interactive SST anomalies in the midlatitudes is investigated using a three-layer QG model coupled in perpetual winter conditions to a slab oceanic mixed layer in the North Atlantic. The SST anomalies are diagnosed from a coupled run and prescribed as initial conditions, but are free to evolve. The initial evolution of the atmospheric response is similar to that obtained with a prescribed SST anomaly, starting as a quasi-linear baroclinic and then quickly evolving into a growing equivalent barotropic one. Because of the heat flux damping, the SST anomaly amplitude slowly decreases, albeit with little change in pattern. Correspondingly, the atmospheric response only increases until it reaches a maximum amplitude after about 1–3.5 months, depending on the SST anomaly considered. The response is similar to that at equilibrium in the fixed SST case, but it is 1.5–2 times smaller, and then slowly decays away.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:37626
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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