Seasonal and El Nino variability in weekly satellite evaporation over the global ocean during 1996-98

Type Article
Date 2006-05
Language English
Author(s) Mestas-Nunez Alberto M.1, Bentamy Abderrahim2, Katsaros Kristina1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Miami, Cooperat Inst Marine & Atmospher Studies, Miami, FL 33152 USA.
2 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Journal Of Climate (0894-8755) (American Meteorological Society), 2006-05 , Vol. 19 , N. 10 , P. 2025-2035
DOI 10.1175/JCLI3721.1
WOS© Times Cited 8
Abstract The seasonal and anomaly variability of satellite-derived weekly latent heat fluxes occurring over the global oceans during a 3-yr period (January 1996-December 1998) is investigated using EOF and harmonic analyses. The seasonal cycle of latent heat flux is estimated by least squares fitting the first three (annual, semiannual. and 4 month) harmonics to the data. The spatial patterns of amplitudes of these harmonics agree well with the Corresponding patterns for wind speed. The annual harmonic captures an oscillation that reflects high evaporation in late fall/early winter and low evaporation in late spring/early summer in both hemispheres. with larger amplitudes in the Northern Hemisphere over the western side of the oceans and significant phase differences within each hemisphere. The main feature of the semiannual harmonic is its large amplitude in the Asian monsoon region (e.g.. in the Arabian Sea its amplitude is about 1.5 larger than the annual) and the out-of-phase relationship of this region with the high latitudes of the North Pacific, consistent with other studies. The third harmonic shows three main regions with relatively large amplitudes, one in the Arabian Sea and two out-of-phase regions in the central midlatitude North and South Pacific. After removing this estimate of the seasonal cycle from the data, the leading EOF of the anomalies isolates the 1997-98 El Nino signal, with enhanced evaporation in the eastern tropical Pacific, around the Maritime Continent, in the midlatitude North and South Pacific. and the equatorial Indian Ocean. and reduced evaporation elsewhere around the global ocean during April 1997-April 1998. This pattern is consistent with known patterns of ENSO variability and with the "atmospheric bridge" teleconnection concept. The current study illustrates the usefulness of satellite-derived latent heat fluxes for climatic applications.
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