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Science Meetings

The Southern Hemisphere Subtropical SSS-max Regimes
Gordon, A.L. (22-May-17)

The salty subtropical regimes of the world ocean display significant differences. Evaporation alone is not sufficient to explain the spatial and temporal characteristics of the salty subtropical regimes, the wind also shapes sea surface salinity maximum (SSS-max), both at seasonal and inter annual time scales. However, even the combination of regional air-sea water flux and the wind stress is insufficient to fully explain the SSS-max patterns. The SSS-max regimes are also influenced by their place in the global ocean system. This is particularly relevant to the southern hemisphere SSS-max regimes. The South Atlantic and the southern Indian Ocean SSS-max are affected by the Agulhas leakage around the southern rim of Africa, as well as the deflection of the South Equatorial Current into the northern hemisphere as part of AMOC. The southern Indian Ocean is also affected by the low SSS plume of Indonesian Throughflow water crossing the Indian Ocean between 10 and 15°S. The super wide South Pacific seems to have two distinct regimes, the 'normal' eastern SSS-max and the western regime shaped by a branch of the ITCZ in southern hemisphere. The difference of the SSS-max regimes is a sensitive indicator of the ocean and climate systems.