Global seiching of thermocline waters between the Atlantic and the Indian-Pacific Ocean Basins
Article first published online: 20 FEB 2004
Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 31, Issue 4, February 2004
How to Cite
2004), Global seiching of thermocline waters between the Atlantic and the Indian-Pacific Ocean Basins, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L04302, doi:10.1029/2003GL019091., , and (
- Issue published online: 20 FEB 2004
- Article first published online: 20 FEB 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 JAN 2004
- Manuscript Received: 17 NOV 2003
 Proxy climate data from the Greenland icecap and marine deposits in the Pacific indicate that warm conditions in the North Atlantic are linked to cool conditions in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific, and vice versa. Our ocean models show that the surface branch of the overturning circulation connecting the North Atlantic to the Equatorial Pacific adjusts by exchanging thermocline water between ocean basins in response to changes in deep water formation in the northern North Atlantic. Planetary ocean waves give rise to a global oceanic seiche, such that the volume of thermocline water decreases in the Pacific-Indian Ocean while increasing in the Atlantic Ocean. We conjecture that the remotely forced changes in the thermocline of the Eastern Equatorial Pacific may trigger El Niño events. These global seiches have been previously overlooked due to the difficulty of integrating high-resolution climate models for very long time-scales.