Seasonal versus permanent thermocline warming by tropical cyclones
Article first published online: 10 FEB 2010
Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 37, Issue 3, February 2010
How to Cite
2010), Seasonal versus permanent thermocline warming by tropical cyclones, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L03602, doi:10.1029/2009GL041808., , and (
- Issue published online: 10 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 10 FEB 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 JAN 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 22 DEC 2009
- Manuscript Received: 17 NOV 2009
- tropical cyclones;
- heat transport;
- seasonal cycle
 Recent studies suggest that the enhanced upper ocean mixing caused by tropical cyclones significantly contributes to the ocean heat transport. However, existing studies that try to quantify this contribution make the assumption that all heat pumped below the mixed layer by tropical cyclones is finally released in higher latitudes. Tropical cyclones occur primarily during summer and early fall, when the ocean mixed layer is generally shallow. As the mixed layer deepens in the following winter, any warm anomaly deposited within the seasonal thermocline will be reabsorbed by the mixed layer and lost to the atmosphere. Analysis of satellite sea surface temperature and sea surface height data, together with climatological subsurface ocean data, suggests that only about one quarter of the heat that is mixed downward by tropical cyclones eventually makes it into the permanent thermocline.