Observational evidence of reemergence in the extratropical Southern Hemisphere

Laura M. Ciasto, David W. J. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Observations of subsurface temperatures are used to examine the winter-to-winter “reemergence” of sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the extratropical South Pacific Ocean. Reemergence is the mechanism through which SST anomalies formed in the late winter are sequestered beneath the relatively shallow summer mixed layer and then reentrained into the deepening mixed layer during the following autumn/winter. Although several studies have extensively examined reemergence in the Northern Hemisphere (NH), this is the first study to use observations of subsurface temperatures to document reemergence in the extratropical Southern Hemisphere (SH). The SH subsurface data reveal a pronounced reemergence signal in the western extratropical South Pacific. In this region, surface thermal anomalies formed during late SH winter are observed to persist below the summertime mixed layer and reemerge at the surface during the following early winter months. As such, SST anomalies formed during late winter are strongly correlated with SST anomalies during the following early winter but are not significantly correlated with SST anomalies during the intervening summer months. The results based on subsurface data are robust to small changes in the period of analysis and are qualitatively similar to existing evidence of reemergence in the NH. Analyses of independent SST data reveal that reemergence is widespread in the western extratropical South Pacific basin but is less discernible in SST anomalies over the eastern part of the basin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1446–1453
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2009

Cite this