Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 69, Issue 6, pp 699–712

Seasonality of interannual atmosphere–ocean interaction in the South China Sea

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10872-013-0201-9

Cite this article as:
He, Z. & Wu, R. J Oceanogr (2013) 69: 699. doi:10.1007/s10872-013-0201-9


The present study documents the atmosphere–ocean interaction in interannual variations over the South China Sea (SCS). The atmosphere–ocean relationship displays remarkable seasonality and regionality, with an atmospheric forcing dominant in the northern and central SCS during the local warm season, and an oceanic forcing in the northern SCS during the local cold season. During April–June, the atmospheric impact on the sea surface temperature (SST) change is characterized by a prominent cloud-radiation effect in the central SCS, a wind-evaporation effect in the central and southern SCS, and a wind-driven oceanic effect along the west coast. During November–January, regional convection responds to the SST forcing in the northern SCS through modulation of the low-level convergence and atmospheric stability. Evaluation of the precipitation–SST and precipitation–SST tendency correlation in 24 selected models from CMIP5 indicates that the simulated atmosphere–ocean relationship varies widely among the models. Most models have the worst performance in spring. On average, the models simulate better the atmospheric forcing than the oceanic forcing. Improvements are needed for many models before they can be used to understand the regional atmosphere–ocean interactions in the SCS region.


South China Sea Atmosphere–ocean interaction Interannual variability Seasonality Regionality CMIP5 simulations 

Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Space and Earth Information ScienceThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of Physics, Institute of Space and Earth Information ScienceThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

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