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The Warmwatersphere of the North Atlantic Ocean

Ed.: Wolfgang Krauss; Contributors: A. Beckmann; C. W. Böning

1996. X, 446 pages, 201 figures, 6 tables, 17x24cm, 1200 g
Language: English

ISBN 978-3-443-01033-1, paperback, price: 66.00 €

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Keywords

waterwarmclimateNorth Atlantic OceanoceanographyWasserwarmKlimaNordatlantischer OzeanMeereskunde

Contents

english text/wo top ↑

The Atlantic Ocean plays a dominant role in the global climate system due to its unique thermohaline circulation: it is the only ocean in which heat is transported from the southern to the northern hemisphere, yielding the mild climate of Europe and influencing the climate system on the entire globe.

In 12 chapters the book The Warmwatersphere of the North Atlantic Ocean describes our present knowledge of currents and stratification of the North Atlantic, the meriodional heat transport by the thermohaline circulation, the resulting air-sea interactions on climate scales, and the stability of this system. This knowledge is based on historical data, numerous expeditions during the last decades, satellite data and the results of numerical models.

20 scientists of the Institut für Meereskunde in Kiel and American institutes contributed to this book. They were actively engaged in North Atlantic research during the years 1980--1994 within the Collaborative Research Center «Warmwatersphere Program of the Atlantic Ocean». They give a synopsis of our present knowledge of the circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean.

The book primarily addresses oceanographers, meteorologists and the broad community working on climate research. With a few exceptions, mathematical descriptions are reduced to a minimum; the detailed explanation of the main current systems, the oceanic eddy fields and the interpretation of the general circulation by numeric models will also be of interest to neighboring disciplines. The book reviews the most recent advances in its field.

Dt. Text aus Vorwort/Einleitung top ↑

Der Atlantische Ozean spielt für das Klima der Erde eine besondere Rolle: in ihm wird Wärme vom Südatlantik über den Äquator hinweg bis in die hohen Breiten des Nordatlantiks transportiert und dort an die Atmosphäre abgegeben. Dies ist der bestimmende Faktor für das derzeit milde Klima Europas und hat Auswirkungen auf das Klima der gesamten Erde.

Das Buch The Warmwatersphere of the North Atlantik Ocean beschreibt in 12 Kapiteln unser derzeitiges Wissen über Strömung und Schichtung des Nordatlantiks, den meridionalen Wärmetransport durch die thermohaline Zirkulation, die resultierenden Wechselwirkungen mit der Atmosphäre im Klimabereich und die Stabilität dieses Systems. Dieses Wissen beruht auf historischen Daten, umfangreichen Expeditionen der letzten Jahrzehnte, Satellitendaten und numerischen Modellrechnungen.

20 Wissenschaftler des Instituts für Meereskunde in Kiel sowie amerikanische Institute, die im Rahmen des Sonderforschungsbereiches 133, ``Warmwassersphäre des Atlantiks\'\', von 1980--1994 an den Forschungsarbeiten beteiligt waren, fassen den jeweils neuesten Stand des Wissens in einzelnen Bereichen zusammen.

Das Buch wendet sich in erster Linie an Ozeanographen, Meteorologen und die verschiedenen Disziplinen, die in der Klimaforschung tätig sind. Mit wenigen Ausnahmen ist die mathematische Formulierung auf ein Minimun reduziert; die ausführliche Beschreibung der großen Meeresströmungen, der ozeanischen Wirbelfelder und die Interpretation der atlantischen Zirkulation mit Hilfe numerischer Modelle machen das Buch darüber hinaus für einen großen Kreis benachbarter Disziplinen lesbar. Es gibt den neuesten Stand der Forschung wieder.

Contents top ↑

1 Comments on the Development of our Knowledge of the General
Circulation of the North Atlantic Ocean By W. Krauss, Kiel 1
1.1 The knowledge about currents and stratification during the
nineteenth century 1
1.2 Systematic explorations until 1945 10
1.3 Interpretation of the large-scale circulation 20
1.4 Appendix to Chapter 1 28
2 Climatological Fluxes at the Sea Surface
By L. Hasse, Kiel, R. Lindau, Kiel and E. Ruprecht, Kiel 33
2.1 Introduction 33
2.2 Marine meteorological data 34
2.3 Climate of the Atlantic Ocean 42
2.4 Meridional heat transport 50
2.5 Conclusion 53
3 The North Atlantic Mean Circulation: Combining Data and Dynamics
By J. Marotzke, Cambridge/USA and J. Willebrand, Kiel 55
3.1 Introduction 55
3.2 Catalogue of dynamical equations used with inversions 56
3.3 Data sources and accuracy 63
3.4 Remarks on inversion techniques 66
3.5 North Atlantic inverse models 67
3.6 Selected results and discussion 74
3.7 Discussion 83
4 Large-Scale Transport Processes in High-Resolution Circulation Models
By C.W. Boning, Kiel and F.O. Bryan, Boulder/USA 91
4.1 Introduction 91
4.2 Model configurations 93
4.3 Dynamics of the subtropical gyre 97
4.4 Meridional overturning and heat transport 110
5 Stability of the Thermophaline Circulation
By S. Rahmstorf, Kiel, J. Marotzke, Cambridge/USA and J. Willebrand,
Kiel 129
5.1 Introduction 129
5.2 Causes and types of multiple equilibria 130
5.3 Feedback processes affecting the thermohaline circulation 134
5.4 Advective spindown of the thermohaline circulation 141
5.5 Rapid convective transitions 143
5.6 Why the present conveyor belt? 147
5.7 Variability of the thermohaline circulation 152
5.8 Discussion and Conclusion 156
6 Generation and Distribution of Mesoscale Eddies in the North
Atlantic Ocean
By D. Stammer, Cambridge/USA and C.W. Boning, Kiel 159
6.1 Introduction 159
6.2 Distribution of eddy energy 161
6.3 Frequency-wavenumber characteristics 168
6.4 Eddy generation 183
6.5 What can we learn from a seasonal variation of eddy energy? 188
6.6 Concluding remarks 191
7 Western Equatorial Circulation and Interhemispheric Exchange
By L. Stramma and F. Schott, Kiel 195
7.1 Introduction 195
7.2 The water masses 197
7.3 Southern hemispheric inflow into the equatorial region 199
7.4 The equatorial zonal current and its seasonal cycle 205
7.5 Equatorial upwelling and meridional circulation 218
7.6 Pathways of interhemispheric exchange and heat transport 219
7.7 Equatorial circulation and cross-equatorial flow in numerical models 222
7.8 Final remarks 225
8 The Western Boundary Circulation of the Subtropical Warmwatersphere
By F. Schott, Kiel and R.L. Molinari, Miami/USA 229
8.1 Introduction 229
8.2 Circulation in the western subtropical boundary regime near 24° N 230
8.3 Circulation of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico and sources of the
Florida Current 241
8.4 Western subtropical Atlantic circulation in models 246
8.5 Longer period variability 249
8.6 Summary and open questions 251
9 The Gulf Stream Separation Problem
By J. Dengg, Princeton/USA, A. Beckmann and R. Gerdes, Bremerhaven 253
9.1 Introduction 253
9.2 Observational basis of Gulf Stream separation 254
9.3 Gulf Stream separation in ocean general circulation models 259
9.4 Theories on Gulf Stream separation 271
9.5 Discussion and concluding remarks 288