Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 167–175 | Cite as

Decadal variations in mixed layer salinity in the Kuroshio Extension recirculation gyre region: influence of precipitation during the warm season

  • Tomoyuki Kitamura
  • Toshiya Nakano
  • Shusaku Sugimoto
Original Article


The salinity of the mixed layer in the Kuroshio Extension recirculation gyre (KERG) region (28°–35°N, 141°–160°E) was examined over a period of 20 years (1993–2012), and was found to show low-frequency variations on a decadal (~10 years) timescale: salinity decreased during the periods 1995–2001 and 2006–2009, but increased over the periods 2002–2005 and 2010–2012. Salinity anomalies at the sea surface during the warm season (June–October) influenced salinity in the following winter. These warm-season anomalies were caused by precipitation changes related to the number of low-pressure systems passing over the KERG associated with a westward elongation/eastward shrinkage of the summertime North Pacific subtropical high, which is driven by the Pacific–Japan (PJ) teleconnection pattern.


Kuroshio Extension recirculation gyre region Mixed layer salinity Precipitation Pacific–Japan (PJ) teleconnection pattern Storm track 



We appreciate comments from participants at the Research Meeting on Air–Sea Interaction in 2013, which was part of the Collaborative Research Program of HyARC, Nagoya University. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions. This study was supported in part by funds from the Japan Society for Promotion of Science [Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) 15K17756] and from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology [Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas 25106702, “A ‘hot spot’ in the climate system: Extratropical air–sea interaction under the East Asian monsoon system”].


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomoyuki Kitamura
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Toshiya Nakano
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shusaku Sugimoto
    • 3
  1. 1.Global Environment and Marine DepartmentJapan Meteorological AgencyTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Oceanography and Geochemistry Research DepartmentMeteorological Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Geophysics, Graduate School of ScienceTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  4. 4.Ocean and Earth Division, Research and Development BureauMinistry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and TechnologyTokyoJapan

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