Heat and mass balances of the South Atlantic Ocean calculated from a numerical model


  • Ricardo P. Matano,

  • S. George H. Philander


The general circulation model of Bryan (1969), modified by the introduction of open boundary conditions at the Drake Passage and between Africa and Antarctica, has been used to study the mass and heat budgets of the South Atlantic Ocean. The model was initialized with the climatological annual mean values of temperature and salinity of Levitus (1982) and forced at its surface with the climatological wind stress data of Hellerman and Rosenstein (1983). After 3 years of integration the model reached a quasi-stationary state. A heat balance shows that the model transports 0.19 PW of heat toward the north across 30°S. While a large part of this heat is supplied by the atmosphere and involves the conversion of intermediate waters into surface waters, a comparison with climatological data of atmospheric heat fluxes suggests that an extra source of heat is necessary to maintain the northward heat flux.