The Wintertime Subtropical Current in the Northwestern Pacific

TitleThe Wintertime Subtropical Current in the Northwestern Pacific
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLee DK, Centurioni L
Date Published2013/03
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1042-8275
Accession NumberWOS:000317530100009
Keywordsjapan; kuroshio; midlatitude; north pacific; sea; south; variability

The strong wintertime westward current in the northwestern Pacific between 18 degrees N and 23 degrees N was investigated using data from satellite-tracked drifters. The decadal strengthening of the negative wind stress curl and trade wind in the subtropical area north of Hawaii and west of 150 degrees E drives the decadal variability of this wintertime current. The Sverdrup transport computed from a high-resolution (1 degrees x 1 degrees) wind stress reanalysis product reproduces the Wintertime Subtropical Current (WSTC) well, and shows that its Sverdrup transport increases in excess of 15 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s1) from the early 1970s to the 1990s. The annual variation of the WSTC transport is well correlated with the North Pacific Index, which represents the strength of the Aleutian Low before the 1988/89 climate shift, but the correlation with teleconnection patterns or climate indices becomes weak after the 1988/89 shift. The annual fluctuations of WSTC transport are found to be reflected in the springtime Kuroshio transport south of Japan.

Short TitleOceanography
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