Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 353–365 | Cite as

Ocean-atmosphere dynamics changes associated with prominent ocean surface turbulent heat fluxes trends during 1958–2013

  • Hu YangEmail author
  • Jiping Liu
  • Gerrit Lohmann
  • Xiaoxu Shi
  • Yongyun Hu
  • Xueen Chen


Three prominent features of ocean surface turbulent heat fluxes (THF) trends during 1958–2013 are identified based on the Objectively Analyzed air-sea Fluxes (OAFlux) data set. The associated ocean-atmosphere dynamics changes are further investigated based on the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) reanalysis. First, the THF are enhanced over the mid-latitude expansions of the subtropical western boundary currents (WBCs). An intensified oceanic heat transport, forced by stronger near-surface zonal wind, is likely to be the cause of such THF tendency. Second, the THF are reduced over the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, which is primarily caused by the decreasing near-surface wind speed and sea surface temperature (SST), associated with a local coupled ocean-atmosphere cooling mode. Finally, the THF are reduced over the northern tropical Atlantic Ocean, which is attributed to the decreasing air-sea humidity and temperature differences as a result of the convergence of near-surface air and the divergence of ocean currents (upwelling).


Turbulent heat fluxes trend Western boundary currents Tropical eastern Pacific Ocean Northern tropical Atlantic Ocean 



We would like to thank Wei Wei, Mihai Dima, and Xun Gong for their helpful discussions, and Stefanie Klebe for her friendly review. Jiping Liu is supported by the NOAA Climate Observations and Monitoring Program (NA14OAR4310216) and NASA NEWS. The co-author Chen Xueen’s position is also supported by Taishan scholars program.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hu Yang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jiping Liu
    • 2
  • Gerrit Lohmann
    • 1
    • 3
  • Xiaoxu Shi
    • 1
  • Yongyun Hu
    • 4
  • Xueen Chen
    • 5
  1. 1.Alfred Wegener InstituteHelmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at AlbanyState University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental PhysicsUniversity of BremenBremenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of PhysicsPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  5. 5.Physical Oceanography LaboratoryOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina

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