Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Internal Waves Moving Across The Pacific Ocean Affect Global Climate System

Date:
January 17, 2008
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
When ocean tidal currents encounter undersea topography, waves called internal tides are generated. These waves propagate into the ocean interior and can contribute significantly to oceanic mixing when they break, influencing how nutrients are distributed and how energy is transported throughout the ocean. Understanding where this breaking occurs in the ocean is thus central to understanding the global climate system.

When ocean tidal currents encounter undersea topography, waves called internal tides are generated.

Related Articles


These waves propagate into the ocean interior and can contribute significantly to oceanic mixing when they break, influencing how nutrients are distributed and how energy is transported throughout the ocean.

Understanding where this breaking occurs in the ocean is thus central to understanding the global climate system.

Prior models showed that a particular breaking mechanism known as "parametric subharmonic instability" (PSI) could in principle remove a large amount of energy from the internal tides at a "critical latitude" of 28.8 degrees North.

To test this notion, Alford et al. heavily instrumented a 1400-km (870-mile)-long line beginning at French Frigate Shoals, a major generation site at the Hawaiian Ridge, with the intention of tracking the internal tide's northward progress past the critical latitude.

They found strong evidence that PSI does occur, leading to intense alternating bands of clockwise-rotating velocity, but that the process appears not to substantially attenuate the internal tide (whose fate remains uncertain). However, PSI does appear to strongly affect the latitudinal distribution of internal wave energy.

Title: Internal waves across the Pacific

Authors: M. H. Alford: Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.; also at School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.; J. A. MacKinnon and Rob Pinkel: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California, U.S.A.; Zhongxiang Zhao: Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.; Jody Klymak: School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Thomas Peacock: Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Source: Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) paper 10.1029/2007GL031566, 2007; http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007GL031566


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Geophysical Union. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Geophysical Union. "Internal Waves Moving Across The Pacific Ocean Affect Global Climate System." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114162504.htm>.
American Geophysical Union. (2008, January 17). Internal Waves Moving Across The Pacific Ocean Affect Global Climate System. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114162504.htm
American Geophysical Union. "Internal Waves Moving Across The Pacific Ocean Affect Global Climate System." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114162504.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A new study of nearly two decades of satellite data shows Antarctic ice shelves are losing more mass faster every year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Homes Near Landslide in Washington

Raw: Homes Near Landslide in Washington

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) Aerial footage from KOMO shows several homes near a landslide in Washington. KOMO reports that at least one of the homes has been damaged. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clean-Up Follows Deadly Weather in Okla.

Clean-Up Follows Deadly Weather in Okla.

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for 25 Oklahoma counties after powerful storms rumbled across the state causing one death, numerous injuries and widespread damage. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least Four Dead After Floods in Northern Chile

At Least Four Dead After Floods in Northern Chile

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) At least four people have been killed by severe flooding in northern Chile after rains battered the Andes mountains and swept into communities below. Rob Muir reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins