Connection between the decadal variability in the Southern Ocean circulation and the Southern Annular Mode

Authors

  • Xiao-Yi Yang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Environmental Dynamics (LED), South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
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  • Dongxiao Wang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Environmental Dynamics (LED), South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
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  • Jia Wang,

    1. International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
    2. Now at Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), NOAA, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
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  • Rui Xin Huang

    1. Department of Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
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Abstract

[1] Previous studies demonstrated the remarkable upward trend of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and Southern Ocean wind stress in association with anthropogenic forcing. An oceanic reanalysis data set is used to investigate the response of the circulation in the Southern Ocean to the decadal variability of SAM. Our results indicate the strengthening and the poleward shift of the northward Ekman velocity as well as the Ekman pumping rate, which led to a corresponding strengthening trend in the Deacon Cell. This strengthening, in turn, intensified the meridional density gradient and the tilting of the isopycnal surfaces. On the interannual time scale, the Antarctic Circumpolar Currents (ACC) transport exhibits a positive correlation with SAM index as seen separately in observations. However, there is no significant trend in the total transport of ACC. Possible reasons are discussed.

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