The world ocean thermohaline circulation
2012 (English)In: Journal of Physical Oceanography, ISSN 0022-3670, Vol. 42, no 9, 1445-1460 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A new global streamfunction is presented and denoted the thermohaline streamfunction. This is defined as the volume transport in terms of temperature and salinity (hence no spatial variables). The streamfunction is used to analyze and quantify the entire World Ocean conversion rate between cold/warm and fresh/saline waters. It captures two main cells of the global thermohaline circulation, one corresponding to the conveyor belt and one corresponding to the shallow tropical circulation. The definition of a thermohaline streamfunction also enables a new method of estimating the turnover time as well as the heat and freshwater transports of the conveyor belt. The overturning time of the conveyor belt is estimated to be between 1000 and 2000 yr, depending on the choice of stream layer. The heat and freshwater transports of these two large thermohaline cells have been calculated by integrating the thermohaline streamfunction over the salinity or temperature, yielding a maximum heat transport of the conveyor belt of 1.2 PW over the 34.2-PSU salinity surface and a freshwater transport of 0.8 Sv (1 Sv = 10(6) m(3) s(-1)) over the 9 degrees C isotherm. This is a measure of the net interocean exchange of heat between the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific due to the thermohaline circulation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 42, no 9, 1445-1460 p.
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject Atmospheric Sciences and Oceanography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-81829DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-11-0163.1ISI: 000309018500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-81829DiVA: diva2:565407