The seasonal variation of the North Pacific Meridional Overturning Circulation heat transport
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Based on the 50-year SODA reanalysis data, we investigated the basic characteristics and seasonal changes of the meridional heat transport carried by the North Pacific Meridional Overturning Circulation. And we also examined the dynamical and thermodynamic mechanisms responsible for these heat transport variability at the seasonal time scale. Among four cells, the tropical cell (TC) is strongest with a northward heat transport (NHT) of (1.75±0.30) PW (1 PW=1.0×1015 W) and a southward heat transport (SHT) of (-1.69±0.55) PW, the subtropical cell (STC) is second with a NHT of (0.71±0.65) PW and SHT of (-0.63±0.53) PW, the deep tropical cell (DTC) is third with a NHT of (0.18±0.03) PW and SHT of (-0.18±0.11) PW, while the subpolar cell (SPC) is weakest with a NHT of (0.09±0.05) PW and SHT of (-0.07±0.09) PW. These four cells all have different seasonal changes in their NHT and SHT. Of all, the TC has stronger change in its SHT than in its NHT, so do both the DTC and SPC, but the seasonal change in the STC SHT is weaker than that in its NHT. Therefore, their dynamical and thermodynamic mechanisms are different each other. The local zonal wind stress and net surface heat flux are mainly responsible for the seasonal changes in the TC and STC NHTs and SPC SHT, while the local thermocline circulations and sea temperature are primarily responsible for the seasonal changes of the TC, STC and DTC SHTs and SPC NHT.
Keywordsmeridional overturning circulation heat transport North Pacific seasonal variation
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The authors duly acknowledge the various data sources for the freely available data: SODA data from https://doi.org/apdrc.soest.hawaii.edu/dods/public_data/SODA/soda_pop2.1.6, NCEP reanalysis data from https://doi.org/www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/data/gridded/data.ncep.reanalysis.derived.surfaceflux.html.
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