12th Conference on Interactions of the Sea and Atmosphere
14th Symposium on Global Change and Climate Variations


Surface Stress Balance in the Tropics

Matthias Munnich, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA; and D. Neelin

Wind stress anomalies in the equatorial central to western Pacific which arecrucial to the ocean-atmosphere feedbacks in El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) have received much attention. By angular momentum conservation, global surface stress must approximately balance on monthly or longer time scales so scales surface stress in one region is compensated elsewhere.In the climatology, much of the tropical stress balance is accomplished byexport of momentum to midlatitudes. Examining the ENSO stress balancein model and analysis data sets shows that this is not the case forENSO anomalies. The stress anomaly in the main ENSO regionis mainly balanced within a narrow equatorial band both to the east and west.Land regions play an important role in this balance. Tropical South Americastands out as the largest single countervailing stress region compensating onethrid of the ENSO region stress anomaly.

Joint Session 1, ENSO and Global-scale atmosphere-ocean coupling (Joint with the 14th Symposium on Global Change & Climate Variations and the 12th Conference on Interactions of the Sea and Atmosphere )
Thursday, 13 February 2003, 3:30 PM-5:45 PM

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