As a Postdoctoral Scholar at WHOI, I am pursuing several research interests. While these interests may differ in regard to various spatio-temporal scales, they are linked through their connection and contribution to maintaining the circulation and buoyancy structure of the upper oceans. I have summarized each of these interests below.
Near-inertial waves as a major contributor to the upper ocean mixing
Upper thermocline mixing induced by internal waves (especially near-inertial waves) contributes to sustaining the shallow meridional overturning circulation. In the prospective of inertial wave energetics, I investigate total kinetic energy of near-inertial waves in the mixed layer and its energy radiation below the mixed layer. In terms of the global mixing energy budget, studies on global distribution of the inertial energy flux can be extrapolated to determine how much energy from the near-inertial wave is going into turbulent mixing of the upper ocean thermocline.
Ocean Response to Tropical Storm: its impact to global climate
I am also currently working on quantitative assessment of the capability and limitation of the Argo float (www.argo.net ) data in determining upper ocean response to hurricanes on a basin-to-global scale. Our current understanding of the upper ocean response to storms is based on observational campaigns and modeling studies focused mostly on individual storms. Employing data from the global observational network of Argo floats, in conjunction with satellite observations, offers us an opportunity to extrapolate our understanding of upper ocean response to the examination of its basin-to-global scale consequences. Argo floats measure subsurface temperature and salinity profiles before and after storms, thereby providing us with a comprehensive dataset to study the overall impact of the storms on sea sub-surface and surface.
Possible linkage between global energy cycle and water cycle
Another related interest of mine is how sea surface salinity, as a factor of the water cycle, is linked with the air-sea heat exchange in tropical oceans. The tropical Atlantic Ocean exerts a significant influence on the climate of nearby continents. This has been especially evident in recent decades with the warming of the tropical Atlantic Ocean, resulting in the growing formation, frequency and intensity of hurricanes. Rainfall amounts in adjacent areas of the Nordeste region of Brazil and the Sahel of Africa are linked to the position of the Atlantic Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which migrates toward the warmer hemisphere. These consequences of air-sea heat exchange have been investigated mainly in terms of sea surface temperature (SST) and only recently studies have begun to focus on the role of sea surface salinity on regulating SST.
Last updated: December 12, 2008