Meetings: Documents

Covariability Between Temperature and Salinity Across Ocean Reanalysis Products
[14-Dec-2018] Gozdz, O., Buckley, M.W., and Shiffer, N.V.
Presented at the 2018 AGU Fall Meeting
Recently there has been intense debate about the relative roles of external forcing, stochastic atmospheric variability, and ocean dynamics (e.g., the AMOC) in the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV). While sea surface temperature (SST) variability has been well-studied, analysis of sea surface salinity (SSS) has received less attention. It is compelling to address SSS variability and its relation to the AMV because covariability between temperature and salinity (e.g. warm and salty or cool and fresh) is thought to be a signature of ocean dynamics. We investigate the covariability between temperature and salinity in the North Atlantic in several ocean reanalysis products. We find that temperature and salinity generally covary, which is particularly true for longer timescales and deeper depths. However, the relationship depends on region, and atmospheric forcing seems to play a larger role in the eastern subpolar gyre. This analysis will help assess the role of atmospheric forcing vs. ocean dynamics in setting temperature/salinity variability at different time and spatial scales.