|Title||A description of local and nonlocal eddy-mean flow interaction in a global eddy-permitting state estimate|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2014|
|Authors||Chen R., Flierl G.R, Wunsch C.|
|Journal||Journal of Physical Oceanography|
|Type of Article||Article|
|Keywords||antarctic circumpolar current; available potential-energy; baroclinic instability; circulation; general-circulation model; kinetic-energy; Kuroshio Extension; ocean; resolving model; satellite altimetry; southern-ocean|
The assumption that local baroclinic instability dominates eddy-mean flow interactions is tested on a global scale using a dynamically consistent eddy-permitting state estimate. Interactions are divided into local and nonlocal. If all the energy released from the mean flow through eddy-mean flow interaction is used to support eddy growth in the same region, or if all the energy released from eddies through eddy mean flow interaction is used to feed back to the mean flow in the same region, eddy mean flow interaction is local; otherwise, it is nonlocal. Different regions have different characters: in the subtropical region studied in detail, interactions are dominantly local. In the Southern Ocean and Kuroshio and Gulf Stream Extension regions, they are mainly nonlocal. Geographical variability of dominant eddy-eddy and eddy-mean flow processes is a dominant factor in understanding ocean energetics.