Program Studies the Kuroshio Extension



The Kuroshio Extension system links to North Pacific climate through its role in subtropical-subpolar exchange, the formation and distribution of mode waters, and the intensification of the extratropical storm track across the North Pacific. The Kuroshio Extension System Study (KESS) offers a window into these processes through integrated measurements of the ocean and atmosphere and through modeling efforts (Figure 1).

The northward flowing waters of the Kuroshio western boundary current leave the Japanese coast to flow eastward as a free jet—the Kuroshio Extension. The Extension forms a vigorously meandering boundary between the warm subtropical and cold northern waters.