Recent results from modeling and observational studies demonstrate that the tropical Atlantic is a critical region for processes that maintain the meridional overturning circulation, such as cross-equatorial exchanges, and for sea surface temperature variability that impacts on climate variability of the coupled tropical ocean/atmosphere system.

The theme of this book is the inter-hemispheric and inter-gyre exchanges of heat, salt and fresh water, while its goal is to improve the knowledge of the tropical Atlantic dynamics and how it affects the global ocean. A clear understanding of the dynamics of processes that affect the flow of mass and heat between the southern and the northern hemispheres in the upper few hundred meters in the tropical Atlantic and of those associated to the ocean circulation or to surface signals, from decadal, inter-annual to mesoscale periods, becomes necessary to better evaluate their contribution to the interhemispheric mass exchange. These processes are believed to be largely responsible in driving the sea surface temperature, which in turn, is a critical parameter to investigate ocean-atmospheric interactions. Output produced by regional models is also used to complement the observations and to provide additional information on their spatial and temporal variability. The subtropical cells, by bringing water masses subducted in the subtropics to the equator, and zonal currents investigated here contribute to the interhemispheric water exchange.

Special attention is also given to the warm and salty anticyclonic rings shed by the North Brazil Current, which are now known to have a much broader impact, not only on interhemispheric water mass transfer, but also on the environment of remote regions. Observations from different sources are blended together, are used to validate model outputs and are also assimilated into models to obtain a more complete and accurate picture of the ocea

Table of Contents

Preface. 1. Circulation, variability and near-equatorial meridional flow in the central tropical Atlantic (L. Stramma, J. Fischer et al.). 2. Comparison of hydrographic and altimeter based estimates of sea level height variability in the Atlantic Ocean (D. Mayer, M. Baringer, G. Goni). 3. Estimation of the tropical Atlantic circulation from altimetry data using a reduced-rank stationary Kalman filter (M. Buehner, P. Malanotte-Rizzoli et al.). 4. A synthetic float analysis of upper-limb meridional overturning circulation interior ocean pathways in the tropical/subtropical Atlantic (G. Halliwell, R. Weisberg, D. Mayer). 5. A seasonal and interannual study of the western equatorial Atlantic upper thermocline circulation variability (M. Vianna, V. Menezes). 6. Fate of the equatorial undercurrent in the Atlantic (W. Hazeleger, P. de Vries). 7. The flow of AAIW along the equator (M. Jochum, P. Malanotte-Rizzoli). 8. Planetary equatorial trapped waves in the Atlantic Ocean from TOPEX/Poseidon altimetry (C. França, I. Wainer et al.). 9. Pathways and variability at intermediate depths in the tropical Atlantic (C. Schmid, Z. Garraffo et al.). 10. A comparison of kinematic evidence for tropical cells in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans (R. Molinari, S. Bauer et al.). 11. Subtropical cells in the Atlantic Ocean: An observational summary (D. Snowden, R. Molinari). 12. Spectral, formal, and nonlinear stability in a layered quasigeostrophic model with application to the Atlantic North Equatorial Current (F. Beron-Vera, J. Olascoaga). 13. Synoptic study of warm rings in the North Brazil: Current retroflection region using satellite altimetry (G. Goni, W. Johns). 14. North Brazil Current rings and the variability in the latitude of the retroflection (S. Garzoli, A. Ffield, Q. Yao). 15. North Brazil Current rings and transport of southern


No. of pages:
© 2003
Elsevier Science
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the editors

G.J. Goni

Affiliations and Expertise

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Miami, FL, USA


"...this is a fine advanced text covering a topic - the mean and seasonal circulation of the tropical Atalantic Ocean - an increasing interest to climate researchers." -James Carton, in BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCEITY @from:A.L. Gordon @qu:...The interhemispheric exchange of the warm water within the upper kilometer of the tropical Atlantic is the main theme of the excellent collection of research papers or chapters composing the book. @source:Oceanography