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Southwest Pacific Ocean Circulation and Climate Experiment (SPICE) - Part I. Scientific Background


Ganachaud, A and Kessler, W and Wijffels, S and Ridgway, K and Cai, W and Holbrook, NJ and Bowen, M and Sutton, P and Qiu, B and Timmermann, A and Roemmich, D and Sprintall, J and Cravatte, S and Gourdeau, L and Aung, T, Southwest Pacific Ocean Circulation and Climate Experiment (SPICE) - Part I. Scientific Background, International CLIVAR Project Office, NOAA/OAR/PMEL , Seattle, WA, pp. i-v, 1-37. (2007) [Authored Other Book]


South Pacific thermocline waters are transported in the westward flowing South Equatorial Current from the subtropical gyre center toward the southwestern Pacific Ocean—a major circulation pathway that redistributes water from the subtropics to the equator and to the southern ocean. The transit in the Coral Sea is potentially of great importance to tropical climate prediction because changes in either the temperature or the amount of water arriving at the equator have the capability to modulate the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO; glossary of acronyms at the end of the document) cycle and thereby produce basin-scale climate feedbacks. The southern fate of thermocline waters is, comparably, of major influence on Australia and New Zealand’s climate; its seasonal and interannual evolution influences air-sea heat flux and atmospheric conditions, and it participates in the combined south Indian and Pacific Ocean "supergyre." Substantial changes of this circulation have been observed over the past 50 years, and are continuing in global climate projections. The subtropical gyre has been spinning up in recent years with possible consequences for ENSO modulation and for the East Australian Current (EAC), whose influence has moved south, dramatically affecting the climate and biodiversity of Tasmania.

Item Details

Item Type:Authored Other Book
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Physical oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Climate variability (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Holbrook, NJ (Professor Neil Holbrook)
ID Code:57370
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2009-07-12
Last Modified:2009-07-30

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