Heat center of the western Pacific warm pool
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A heat center (HC) of the western Pacific warm pool (WPWP) is defined, its variability is examined, and a possible mechanism is discussed. Analysis and calculation of a temperature dataset from 1945–2006 show that the mean position of the HC during this period was near 0.4°S/169.0°E, at 38.0 m depth. From a time series of the HC, remarkable seasonal variability was found, mainly in the meridional and vertical directions. Interannual variabilities were dominant in the zonal and vertical directions. In addition, semiannual variation in the HC depth was discovered. The longitude of the HC varies with ENSO events, and its latitude is weakly related to ENSO on time scales shorter than a decade. The variation of the HC longitude leads the Niño-3 index by about 3–4 months, and its depth lags the index for approximately 3 months. It is concluded that the HC depth results from a combination of its longitudinal and latitudinal variations. Low-pass-filtered time series reveal that the HC has moved eastward since the mid 1980s.
Keywordwestern Pacific warm pool heat center variability
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