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Regional Dependence of Atmospheric Responses to Oceanic Eddies in the North Pacific Ocean


Based on sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) from satellite altimeter and microwave radiometer datasets, this study investigates atmospheric responses to oceanic eddies in four subdomains of the North Pacific Ocean with strongest eddy activity: Kuroshio Extension (KE), Subtropical Front (SF), California Coastal Current (CC) and Aleutian Islands (AI). Analyses show that anticyclonic eddies cause sea surface temperature, surface wind speed and precipitation rate to increase in all four subdomains, and vice versa. Through a further examination of the regional dependence of atmospheric responses to oceanic eddies, it is found that the strongest and the weakest surface wind speed responses (in winter and summer) are observed in the KE and AI region, respectively. For precipitation rate, seasonal variation of the atmospheric responses to oceanic eddies is strongest in winter and weakest in summer in the KE, CC and AI regions, but stronger in summer in the SF area. The reasons for such regional dependence and seasonality are the differences in the strength of SST anomalies, the vertical kinetic energy flux and atmospheric instability in the four subdomains.

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