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Evaporation/SST Sensitivity Over the Tropical Oceans During ENSO Events as Estimated from the da Silva, Young, Levitus Surface Marine Data SetThe da Silva, Young and Levitus Surface Marine Atlas, based on observations from the Comprehensive Ocean Atmosphere Data Set (COADS) Release 1, has been used to investigate the relationship between evaporation and sea-surface temperature (SST) over the global oceans. For the period 1950 to 1987 SST, surface latent heat flux, and other related variables have been filtered to minimize data uncertainties and to focus upon interannual variations associated with warm (El Nino) and cold (La Nina) ENSO events. Compositing procedures have enabled identification of systematic variations in latent heat fluxes accompanying these events and the relationship to spatial anomalies in ocean surface wind speed and humidity. The evaporation response associated with ENSO sea surface temperature (SST) variability is systematic in nature and composed of offsetting contributions from the surface wind and humidity variations. During warm events exceeding 1.0 S.D. delta SST, increases in the surface humidity deficit, delta(qs-qa), between the surface and 2m height dominate regions of positive SST anomalies and lead to increases in evaporation of almost 2 Wm (exp -2) at deltaSST = 0.23 K. Despite the increases in specific humidity, relative humidity decreases slightly in regions of elevated SSTs. For the most part, variations in wind speed are consistent with previous investigations. Weakening of the equatorial easterlies (and generation of westerlies) between 160 degrees E and 140 degrees W dominates during the early phases of warm events. Elevated wind speeds in adjacent subtropical regions and in the eastern equatorial Pacific subsequently develop too. The net contribution of these winds, which reflect adjustments in Hadley and Walker circulation components is toward reduced evaporation. Results for cold periods are approximately similar, but opposite in sign to warm events, though evidence of different temporal evolution is noted.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Robertson, F. R. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Fitzjarrald, D. E. (Seoul National Univ. Korea, Republic of)
Sohn, B.-J. (Seoul National Univ. Korea, Republic of)
Arnold, James E.
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2001
Subject Category
Environment Pollution
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.