Vertical ocean mixing in the tropics is important to the climate system because it contributes to redistributing momentum, heat, and nutrients. Tropical cyclones are efficient vertical ocean mixers. Furthermore, recent studies suggest the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones are largely controlled by temperature, thus these events may provide a causal link for the observed relationship between temperature and vertical mixing. Strong feedbacks between climate and tropical cyclones have been proposed by Emanuel, and some support is found in our work. Currently tropical cyclone-induced ocean mixing is not included in existing conceptual or numerical models of the climate system; therefore, accurate representation of any feedbacks is not possible. Here we provide evidence for the existence of climatic feedbacks between tropical cyclone activity, vertical ocean mixing and temperature, and we discuss implications for past and future climate scenarios. Potential differences between glacial and greenhouse climates will be discussed, and the potential importance of this feedback through Earth's history will be emphasized.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- 1616 Climate variability (1635;
- 1620 Climate dynamics (0429;
- 1626 Global climate models (3337;
- 1635 Oceans (1616;