The 26 °N Hydrographic Section
A major role of the oceans in the coupled climate system is the
meridional transport of heat and freshwater and the subsequent exchange
with the atmosphere through air-sea fluxes. Hydrographic sections across
a selected few latitudes in the Atlantic sector (such as 26 °N) provide
us with "snapshots" of these meridional transports.
SST in the western subtropical gyre of our 1/12° resolution model
Ocean models such as OCCAM provide information at all latitudes, but
discrepancies remain between simulated and observed transports. Due to
the short length scales associated with narrow boundary currents such as
the Gulf Stream, accompanied by rings and eddies, we believe that one
way to improve our models is by increasing horizontal resolution. We are
presently developing and running a 1/12 ° version of OCCAM.
The latest adjusted SOC heat flux climatology
The meridional oceanic heat transport declines polewards as heat is
progressively transferred from the ocean to the atmosphere. This air-sea
exchange is captured in the SOC surface flux climatology. The accuracy
of such surface flux estimates is known to vary from region to region.
Hydrographic estimates of ocean heat transport are therefore used to
adjust and improve the air-sea flux fields. Our overall goal is to
reconcile hydrographic estimates of heat and freshwater transport with
corresponding fields of surface flux, using and improving our ocean
models in the process.