Journal cover Journal topic
Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.351 IF 4.351
  • IF 5-year value: 5.124 IF 5-year
    5.124
  • CiteScore value: 4.44 CiteScore
    4.44
  • SNIP value: 1.250 SNIP 1.250
  • IPP value: 4.10 IPP 4.10
  • SJR value: 2.203 SJR 2.203
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 29 Scimago H
    index 29
  • h5-index value: 31 h5-index 31
Volume 4, issue 1
Earth Syst. Dynam., 4, 1–10, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-4-1-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Earth Syst. Dynam., 4, 1–10, 2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-4-1-2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 16 Jan 2013

Research article | 16 Jan 2013

Excitation of equatorial Kelvin and Yanai waves by tropical cyclones in an ocean general circulation model

R. L. Sriver1, M. Huber2, and L. Chafik3 R. L. Sriver et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA
  • 2Purdue Climate Change Research Center and Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
  • 3Department of Meteorology/Physical Oceanography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract. Tropical cyclones (TCs) actively contribute to the dynamics of Earth's coupled climate system. They influence oceanic mixing rates, upper-ocean heat content, and air–sea fluxes, with implications for atmosphere and ocean dynamics on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Using an ocean general circulation model with modified surface wind forcing, we explore how TC winds can excite equatorial ocean waves in the tropical Pacific. We highlight a situation where three successive TCs in the western North Pacific region, corresponding to events in 2003, excite a combination of Kelvin and Yanai waves in the equatorial Pacific. The resultant thermocline adjustment significantly modifies the thermal structure of the upper equatorial Pacific and leads to eastward zonal heat transport. Observations of upper-ocean temperature by the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean (TAO) buoy array and sea-level height anomalies using altimetry reveal wave passage during the same time period with similar properties to the modeled wave, although our idealized model methodology disallows precise identification of the TC forcing with the observed waves. Results indicate that direct oceanographic forcing by TCs may be important for understanding the spectrum of equatorial ocean waves, thus remotely influencing tropical mixing and surface energy budgets. Because equatorial Kelvin waves are closely linked to interannual variability in the tropical Pacific, these findings also suggest TC wind forcing may influence the timing and amplitude of El Niño events.

Publications Copernicus
Download
Citation