Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-816
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-816
27 Mar 2024
 | 27 Mar 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Opposing changes in subpolar ocean heat content due to meridional heat advection driven by the Southern Ocean wind anomaly

Xubin Ni, Ling Du, and Huangyuan Shi

Abstract. The global ocean has been warming significantly due to rapid climate change, leading to conspicuous changes in the subpolar Southern Ocean. Our study reveals that the heat exchange between Antarctic and subtropical oceans driven by wind, which plays an important role in modulating changes in regional ocean heat content (OHC) through meridional heat advections. In this study, we used the observed objective analysis and reanalysis datasets to explore the changes in subpolar ocean heat content and analyze attributions to the remarkable regional discrepancy. We found a notable difference in OHC trends between the Atlantic–Indian sector and the Pacific sector, which could be attributed to the inverse meridional heat advection caused by wind anomalies. Atlantic–Indian sector warming was significantly modulated by increasing meridional heat advection induced by the poleward westerly wind. In the Pacific sector, the enhanced wind resulted in substantial cold-water advection equatorward, causing significant cooling. These opposite advections are also occurring with the corresponding regional front movement, which also indicates the meridional heat exchange between oceans. This study highlights that wind anomalies play an important role in modulating the heat exchange between Antarctic and subtropical oceans. Consequently, the atmospheric forcing may become more significant to the heat redistribution in the Southern Ocean in the warmer future.

Xubin Ni, Ling Du, and Huangyuan Shi

Status: open (until 22 May 2024)

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Xubin Ni, Ling Du, and Huangyuan Shi
Xubin Ni, Ling Du, and Huangyuan Shi

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Short summary
In this study, we used the observed objective analysis and reanalysis datasets to demonstrate the opposite heat changes between the Atlantic−Indian sector and the Pacific sector, which was due to the inverse meridional heat advections driven by different wind anomalies. Warming in the Atlantic−Indian sector were caused by the enhanced southward heat from the subtropical while cooling in the Pacific was facilitated by the significant cold-water advection driven by the strong low pressure.