The signature of mesoscale eddies on the air-sea turbulent heat fluxes in the South Atlantic Ocean

TitleThe signature of mesoscale eddies on the air-sea turbulent heat fluxes in the South Atlantic Ocean
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBôas A.BVillas, Sato O.T, Chaigneau A., Castelão G.P
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Pagination2015GL063105
Date Published2015/03
ISBN Number1944-8007
Keywords4504 Air/sea interactions; 4520 Eddies and mesoscale processes; Air-sea interactions; Mesoscale eddies; Satellite oceanography; South Atlantic; Surface turbulent heat fluxes
Abstract

By collocating 10 years (1999–2009) of remotely sensed surface turbulent heat fluxes with satellite altimetry data, we investigate the impact of oceanic mesoscale eddies on the latent and sensible heat fluxes in the South Atlantic Ocean. In strongly energetic regions, such as the Brazil–Malvinas confluence and the Agulhas Current retroflection, eddies explain up to 20% of the total variance in the surface turbulent heat fluxes with averaged anomalies of ± (10–20) W/m2. Cyclonic (anticyclonic, respectively) eddies are associated with negative (positive) heat flux anomalies that tend to cool (warm) the marine atmospheric boundary layer. A composite analysis of the turbulent heat flux anomalies inside the eddies reveals a direct relationship between eddy amplitude and the intensity of such anomalies. In addition, these anomalies are stronger near the eddy center, decaying radially to reach minimum values outside the eddies.

DOI10.1002/2015GL063105
Integrated Research Themes: 
Student Publication: 
Yes
Student: 
sharknado