Eddy-induced meridional heat transport in the ocean

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Abstract

[1] A global ocean data synthesis product at eddy-permitting resolution from Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II (ECCO2) project are used to estimate the oceanic eddy heat transport. We show that in a number of locations the time-mean eddy heat transport constitutes a considerable portion of the total time-mean heat transport, in particular, in the tropics, in the Southern Ocean and in the Kuroshio Current. This research demonstrates that the variability of the eddy heat transport is a significant contributor to the variability of the total heat transport and globally it explains about 1/3 of its variance. Eddies are also found to explain a significant portion of the seasonal-interannual heat transport variance.

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