The Role of the Extra-Tropical Upper Ocean Mixed Layer in Climate Variability

Clara Deser

The oceans may be regarded as the "flywheel" of the climate system by virtue of their large thermal inertia. This thermal inertia is communicated to the atmosphere largely via the surface turbulent fluxes of sensible and latent energy, which in turn depend upon the sea surface temperature. In this presentation, we examine the processes that give rise to sea surface temperature changes in the North Atlantic and North Pacific, and the impact of those changes upon the atmospheric circulation.

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