Acta Oceanologica Sinica

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 22–28 | Cite as

Effects of interannual salinity variability on the dynamic height in the western equatorial Pacific as diagnosed by Argo

  • Fei Zheng
  • Hui Wang
  • Liying Wan


In this paper, interannual variations of the ocean dynamic height over the tropical Pacific are diagnosed using three-dimensional temperature and salinity fields from Argo profiles, with a focus on the effects of interannually varying salinity on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) evolutions. The diagnostic analyses clearly demonstrate a significant and large role that the salinity field plays in modulating the sea surface dynamic height (SSDH) in the western tropical Pacific. In particular, the contribution of the interannually varying salinity to the interannual variations in SSDH approximately equals to that of the interannually varying temperature. Over the western equatorial Pacific, the salinity variability was responsible for a 30% to 40% reduction in SSDH anomaly in opposition to the thermal build up in SSDH anomaly, providing an important contribution to modulating the seasonal-to-interannual evolution of the tropical Pacific Ocean and affecting the developing of ENSO events.

Key words

salinity effect SSDH ENSO Argo western tropical Pacific 


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Center for Climate and Environment Science (ICCES)Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.National Meteorological CenterBeijingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Research on Marine Hazards ForecastingNational Marine Environmental Forecasting CenterBeijingChina

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