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North Atlantic Decadal Variability of Ocean Surface Fluxes

Title: North Atlantic Decadal Variability of Ocean Surface Fluxes.
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Name(s): Hughes, Paul J., author
Bourassa, Mark A., professor directing thesis
Kim, Kwang-Yul, committee member
Cai, Ming, committee member
Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2006
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
Physical Form: online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The spatial and temporal variability of the surface turbulent heat fluxes over the North Atlantic is examined using the new objectively produced FSU3 monthly mean 1°x1° gridded wind and surface flux product for 1978-2003. The FSU3 product is constructed from in situ ship and buoy observations via a variational technique. A cost function based on weighted constraints is minimized in the process of determining the surface fluxes. The analysis focuses on a low frequency (basin wide) mode of variability where the latent and sensible heat flux anomalies transition from mainly positive to negative values around 1998. It is hypothesized that the longer time scale variability is linked to changes in the large scale circulation patterns possibly associated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO; Schlesinger and Ramankutty 1994, Kerr 2000). The changes in the surface heat fluxes are forced by fluctuations in the mean wind speed. Zonal averages show a clear dissimilarity between the turbulent heat fluxes and wind speed for 1982-1997 and 1998-2003 over the region extending from the equator to roughly 40°N. Larger values are associated with the earlier time period, coinciding with a cool phase of the AMO. The separation between the two time periods is much less evident for the humidity and air/sea temperature differences. The largest differences in the latent heat fluxes, between the two time periods, occur over the tropical, Gulf Stream, and higher latitude regions of the North Atlantic, with magnitudes exceeding 15 Wm-2. The largest sensible heat flux differences are limited to areas along the New England coast and poleward of 40°N.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-3672 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Meteorology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2006.
Date of Defense: March 29, 2006.
Keywords: Decadal, North Atlantic, Sensible Heat Flux, Latent Heat Flux, Variability
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Mark A. Bourassa, Professor Directing Thesis; Kwang-Yul Kim, Committee Member; Ming Cai, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Meteorology
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_migr_etd-3672
Owner Institution: FSU