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Variability of the sea surface temperature in the eastern equatorial Pacific during 1986-88

S.P. Hayes

Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, Washington

Ping Chang

Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

M.J. McPhaden

Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, Washington

Journal of Geophysical Research, 96(C6), 10,533-10,566 (1991)
Copyright ©1991 by the American Geophysical Union. Further electronic distribution is not allowed.

3. Mixed Layer Temperature Variability

To investigate the processes which lead to the SST changes shown in Figures 2 and 3, we examined the heat budget of the surface mixed layer using the formalism discussed in McPhaden [1982]. With the assumption of vertically uniform mixed layer temperature of depth h, the mixed layer temperature equation can be written as:

       (1)

with

The rate of change of sea surface temperature, T, is expressed in terms of Q. The density of seawater is = 1022.4 kg m and the heat capacity is C = 3.94 10 J kg C. The net surface heat flux from the atmosphere into the mixed layer ( Q) is composed of the shortwave (Q), longwave (Q), latent (Q), and sensible (Q) heat fluxes and the penetrative radiation (Q) at the bottom of the mixed layer. The oceanic processes (Q) which contribute to changes in mixed layer temperature are zonal (Q) and meridional (Q ) advection, entrainment cooling across the base of the mixed layer ( Q), and vertical (Q ) and meridional (Q ) eddy heat flux. Zonal eddy heat flux has been ignored, since previous studies suggest that it is small [Bryden and Brady, 1985].


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