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Toyoda T.,Japan Meteorological Agency MRI JMA | Fujii Y.,Japan Meteorological Agency MRI JMA | Kuragano T.,Japan Meteorological Agency MRI JMA | Kamachi M.,Japan Meteorological Agency MRI JMA | And 33 more authors.
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2015

Intercomparison and evaluation of the global ocean surface mixed layer depth (MLD) fields estimated from a suite of major ocean syntheses are conducted. Compared with the reference MLDs calculated from individual profiles, MLDs calculated from monthly mean and gridded profiles show negative biases of 10–20 m in early spring related to the re-stratification process of relatively deep mixed layers. Vertical resolution of profiles also influences the MLD estimation. MLDs are underestimated by approximately 5–7 (14–16) m with the vertical resolution of 25 (50) m when the criterion of potential density exceeding the 10-m value by 0.03 kg m−3 is used for the MLD estimation. Using the larger criterion (0.125 kg m−3) generally reduces the underestimations. In addition, positive biases greater than 100 m are found in wintertime subpolar regions when MLD criteria based on temperature are used. Biases of the reanalyses are due to both model errors and errors related to differences between the assimilation methods. The result shows that these errors are partially cancelled out through the ensemble averaging. Moreover, the bias in the ensemble mean field of the reanalyses is smaller than in the observation-only analyses. This is largely attributed to comparably higher resolutions of the reanalyses. The robust reproduction of both the seasonal cycle and interannual variability by the ensemble mean of the reanalyses indicates a great potential of the ensemble mean MLD field for investigating and monitoring upper ocean processes. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Toyoda T.,Japan Meteorological Agency MRI JMA | Fujii Y.,Japan Meteorological Agency MRI JMA | Kuragano T.,Japan Meteorological Agency MRI JMA | Kosugi N.,Japan Meteorological Agency MRI JMA | And 34 more authors.
Climate Dynamics | Year: 2015

The interannual-decadal variability of the wintertime mixed layer depths (MLDs) over the North Pacific is investigated from an empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of an ensemble of global ocean reanalyses. The first leading EOF mode represents the interannual MLD anomalies centered in the eastern part of the central mode water formation region in phase opposition with those in the eastern subtropics and the central Alaskan Gyre. This first EOF mode is highly correlated with the Pacific decadal oscillation index on both the interannual and decadal time scales. The second leading EOF mode represents the MLD variability in the subtropical mode water (STMW) formation region and has a good correlation with the wintertime West Pacific (WP) index with time lag of 3 years, suggesting the importance of the oceanic dynamical response to the change in the surface wind field associated with the meridional shifts of the Aleutian Low. The above MLD variabilities are in basic agreement with previous observational and modeling findings. Moreover the reanalysis ensemble provides uncertainty estimates. The interannual MLD anomalies in the first and second EOF modes are consistently represented by the individual reanalyses and the amplitudes of the variabilities generally exceed the ensemble spread of the reanalyses. Besides, the resulting MLD variability indices, spanning the 1948–2012 period, should be helpful for characterizing the North Pacific climate variability. In particular, a 6-year oscillation including the WP teleconnection pattern in the atmosphere and the oceanic MLD variability in the STMW formation region is first detected. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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