Deep Ocean Impact of a Madden-Julian Oscillation Observed by Argo Floats

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Science  14 Dec 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5857, pp. 1765-1769
DOI: 10.1126/science.1147312

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Using the new Argo array of profiling floats that gives unprecedented space-time coverage of the upper 2000 meters of the global ocean, we present definitive evidence of a deep tropical ocean component of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). The surface wind stress anomalies associated with the MJO force eastward-propagating oceanic equatorial Kelvin waves that extend downward to 1500 meters. The amplitude of the deep ocean anomalies is up to six times the amplitude of the observed annual cycle. This deep ocean sink of energy input from the wind is potentially important for understanding phenomena such as El Niño–Southern Oscillation and for interpreting deep ocean measurements made from ships.

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