Discordant multi-decadal trend in the intensity of the Kuroshio along its path during 1993–2013

You Lin Wang, Chau Ron Wu

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Abstract

The Kuroshio transports warm water in the Pacific poleward from the tropics and plays a crucial role in modulating surrounding climate. Based on independent data sets, we demonstrated that the Kuroshio weakened downstream east of Taiwan, but intensified upstream east of Luzon Island during 1993–2013. The surface velocity (volume transport) of the Kuroshio has decreased 12.5% (4~5%) off east Taiwan but increased 18% (8~18%) off east Luzon. The discordant upstream–downstream trend was attributable to changes in oceanic eddies and basin surface winds: greater (lesser) cyclonic eddies, lesser (greater) anticyclonic eddies, and positive (negative) tendency in the Pacific Basin wind curl contributed to a weakened (intensified) downstream (upstream) Kuroshio. The difference in water mass between the upstream and downstream Kuroshio was balanced by an anomalous eastward flow, the southern branch of the Subtropical Counter Current which was enhanced and evacuated the redundant water eastward into the Pacific.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14633
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 1

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