Ocean Sciences Editors' Highlights

A Direct Bridge Between Tropical Cyclones and Ocean Eddies

Tropical cyclones can inject potential vorticity directly into ocean eddies—an alternative way for tropical cyclones to leave fingerprints on the ocean besides the traditional near-inertial wave.

Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans


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The effect of tropical cyclones on the upper ocean is typically considered to be in the excitation of near-inertial waves, while mesoscale ocean eddies are usually attributable to oceanic instabilities. However, Lu et al. [2020] show the generation of mesoscale eddies by a direct injection of potential vorticity from tropical cyclones, which unveils another way for the impacts of tropical cyclones on the upper ocean. The generated and modified ocean eddies, due to tropical cyclones, can significantly influence the mass and heat transports in the ocean, and eventually have a critical cumulative effect on global climate.

Citation: Lu, Z., Wang, G., & Shang, X. [2020]. Strength and spatial structure of the perturbation induced by a tropical cyclone to the underlying eddies. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 125, e2020JC016097. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JC016097

—Lei Zhou, Editor, JGR: Oceans

Text © 2020. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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