Bifurcation of the Pacific North Equatorial Current in a Wind-Driven Model: Response to Climatological Winds
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS DETACHMENT STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS OCEANOGRAPHY DIV
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The sensitivity of the bifurcation of the North Equatorial Current in the Pacific to different wind products is investigated. Variations of the bifurcation latitude with season is simulated in a purely wind-driven model and is found to be in agreement with recent observations. The seasonal cycle is nearly independent of the wind climatology, but the annual average latitude depends on the wind stress curl. It is also shown that in the upper ocean, the poleward shift in bifurcation latitude with depth is realistic in our simple model. This implies that given a stratification close to the observed, it is primarily the wind forcing that determines the location of the bifurcation and its seasonal variation.
- Atmospheric Physics
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography