Journal of Ocean University of China

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 222–229 | Cite as

Response of mode water and Subtropical Countercurrent to greenhouse gas and aerosol forcing in the North Pacific

  • Liyi Wang
  • Qinyu LiuEmail author
  • Lixiao Xu
  • Shang-Ping Xie


The response of the North Pacific Subtropical Mode Water and Subtropical Countercurrent (STCC) to changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) and aerosol is investigated based on the 20th-century historical and single-forcing simulations with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Climate Model version 3 (GFDL CM3). The aerosol effect causes sea surface temperature (SST) to decrease in the mid-latitude North Pacific, especially in the Kuroshio Extension region, during the past five decades (1950–2005), and this cooling effect exceeds the warming effect by the GHG increase. The STCC response to the GHG and aerosol forcing are opposite. In the GHG (aerosol) forcing run, the STCC decelerates (accelerates) due to the decreased (increased) mode waters in the North Pacific, resulting from a weaker (stronger) front in the mixed layer depth and decreased (increased) subduction in the mode water formation region. The aerosol effect on the SST, mode waters and STCC more than offsets the GHG effect. The response of SST in a zonal band around 40°N and the STCC to the combined forcing in the historical simulation is similar to the response to the aerosol forcing.

Key words

North Pacific Subtropical Countercurrent mode water greenhouse gas aerosol 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Ocean University of China and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liyi Wang
    • 1
  • Qinyu Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lixiao Xu
    • 1
  • Shang-Ping Xie
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Physical Oceanography Laboratory and Key Laboratory of Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction and Climate in Universities of ShandongOcean University of ChinaQingdaoP. R. China
  2. 2.Scripps Institution of OceanographyUniversity of California at San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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