Artículos de revistas
Global interannual trends and amplitude modulations of the sea surface height anomaly from the TOPEX/Jason-1 altimeters
JOURNAL OF CLIMATE, v.21, n.12, p.2824-2834, 2008
POLITO, Paulo S.
SATO, Olga T.
This study uses the global Ocean Topography Experiment (TOPEX)/Jason-1 altimeters` time series to estimate the 13-yr trend in sea surface height anomaly. These trends are estimated at each grid point by two methods: one fits a straight line to the time series and the other is based on the difference between the average height between the two halves of the time series. In both cases the trend shows large regional variability, mostly where the intense western boundary currents turn. The authors hypothesize that the regional variability of the sea surface height trends leads to changes in the local geostrophic transport. This in turn affects the instability-related processes that generate mesoscale eddies and enhances the Rossby wave signals. This hypothesis is verified by estimates of the trend of the amplitude of the filtered sea surface height anomaly that contains the spectral bands associated with Rossby waves and mesoscale eddies. The authors found predominantly positive tendency in the amplitude of Rossby waves and eddies, which suggests that, on average, these events are becoming more energetic. In some regions, the variation in amplitude over 13 yr is comparable to the standard deviation of the data and is statistically significant according to both methods employed in this study. It is plausible that in this case, the energy is transferred from the mean currents to the waves and eddies through barotropic and baroclinic instability processes that are more pronounced in the western boundary current extension regions. If these heat storage patterns and trends are confirmed on longer time series, then it will be justified to argue that the warming trend of the last century provides the energy that amplifies both Rossby waves and mesoscale eddies.