, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 317-323

Supply of Heat by Tsushima Warm Current in the East Sea (Japan Sea)

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A significant surface net heat loss appears around the Kuroshio and the Tsushima Warm Current regions. The area where the surface heat loss occurs should require heat to be supplied by the current to maintain the long-term annual heat balance. Oceanic heat advection in these regions plays an important role in the heat budget. The spatial distribution of the heat supply by the Tsushima Warm Current near the surface was examined by calculating the horizontal heat supply in the surface layer of the East Sea (the Japan Sea) (ESJS), directly from historical sea surface temperature and current data. We have also found a simple estimation of the effective vertical scale of heat supply by the current to compensate net heat loss using the heat supplied by the current in the surface 10 m layer. The heat supplied by the current for the annual heat balance was large in the Korea/Tsushima Strait and along the Japanese Coast, and was small in the northwestern part of the ESJS. The amount of heat supplied by the current was large in the northwestern part and small in the south-eastern part of the ESJS. These features suggest that the heat supplied by the Tsushima Warm Current is restricted to near the surface around the northeastern part and extends to a deeper layer around the southeastern part of the ESJS.

This revised version was published online in August 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.