Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 717–746 | Cite as

Analysis of the global relationship of biennial variation of sea surface temperature and air-sea heat flux using satellite data

  • Masanori Konda
  • Norihisa Imasato
  • Akira Shibata
Article

Abstract

We investigated the phase difference and the cross correlation coefficient between the band-pass filtered biennial variations of sea surface temperature (SST) and air-sea heat flux estimated by the monthly mean 2°×2° satellite data of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) from July 1987 to June 1991. Judging from the phase difference, it can be determined whether the biennial variation of SST is controlled by local thermal air-sea interaction or oceanic processes of horizontal transport. When the local air-sea heat flux controls the biennial variation of SST, the phase of SST advances π/2 (∼6 months) against that of the air-sea heat flux. In contrast, when the biennial variation of SST is controlled by the oceanic process, the phase difference between the SST and the air-sea heat flux becomes 0 or π(∼12 months). In this case, two types of the phase differences are determined, depending on which variability of SST and air-sea heat flux is larger. The close thermal air-sea interaction is noticeable in the tropics and in the western boundary current region. The phase difference of π/2 appears mainly in the north Pacific, the southeast Indian Ocean, and the western tropical Pacific; zero in the eastern tropical Pacific and the northeast and equatorial Atlantic; and that of π in the central equatorial Pacific and north of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) of the Atlantic. Phase differences of 0, π, or π/2 are possible in the western boundary current regions. This fact indicates that each current plays a different role to the biennial variation of SST. It is inferred that SST anomalies in the tropics are mutually correlated, and the process in which marked SST anomalies in the tropics are transferred to the remote area was probed. In the equatorial Pacific, the SST anomaly is transferred by the long planetary wave. On the other hand, it is found from the phase relationship and the horizontal correlation of SST that the SST anomaly in the central and western equatorial Pacific is connected through atmospheric mediation. It is suggested that the biennial variation of SST in the eastern Indian Ocean is affected by heat transport due to the Indonesian throughflow from the western tropical Pacific. It is found that the mentioned pattern of the interannual variation of SST in the tropical Atlantic as a dipole is not tenable.

Keywords

Indian Ocean Cross Correlation Phase Difference Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer Planetary Wave 

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Copyright information

© Oceanographic Society of Japan 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masanori Konda
    • 1
  • Norihisa Imasato
    • 1
  • Akira Shibata
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geophysics, Division of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Graduate School of ScienceKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Meteorological Research InstituteTsukubaJapan

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