Spatial and temporal variability of solar penetration depths and the impact of radiant heating in the Bay of Bengal during the summer monsoon

Giddings, Jack, Heywood, Karen, Matthews, Adrian, Joshi, Manoj, Webber, Ben, Sanchez-Franks, Alejandra, King, Brian and Vinayachandran, P. N. (2021) Spatial and temporal variability of solar penetration depths and the impact of radiant heating in the Bay of Bengal during the summer monsoon. Ocean Science. ISSN 1812-0784 (In Press)

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Chlorophyll has long been known to influence air-sea gas exchange and the marine food-web. But chlorophyll also influences regional climate through its effect on solar radiation absorption and thus sea surface temperature (SST). In the Bay of Bengal, the effect of chlorophyll on SST has been demonstrated to have a significant impact on the Indian summer (southwest) monsoon. However, little is known about the drivers and impacts of chlorophyll variability in the Bay of Bengal during the southwest monsoon. Here we use observations of downwelling irradiance measured by an ocean glider and three profiling floats to determine the spatial and temporal variability of solar absorption across the southern Bay of Bengal during the 2016 summer monsoon. A two-band exponential solar absorption scheme is fitted to vertical profiles of photosynthetically active radiation to determine the effective scale depth of blue light. Scale depths of blue light are found to vary from 12 m during the highest (0.3–0.5 mg m-3) mixed layer chlorophyll concentrations, to over 25 m when the mixed layer chlorophyll concentrations are below 0.1 mg m-3. The Southwest Monsoon Current and coastal regions of the Bay of Bengal are observed to have higher mixed layer chlorophyll concentrations and shallower solar penetration depths than other regions of the southern Bay of Bengal. Substantial sub-daily variability in solar radiadion absorption is observed, which highlights the importance of near-surface ocean processes in modulating mixed layer chlorophyll. Simulations using a one-dimensional K-profile parameterisation ocean mixed layer model with observed surface forcing from July 2016 show that a 0.3 mg m-3 increase in chlorophyll concentration increases sea surface temperature by 0.35 degC in one month with SST differences growing rapidly during calm and sunny conditions. This has the potential to influence monsoon rainfall around the Bay of Bengal and its intraseasonal variability.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climatic Change
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 30 May 2021 00:01
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2021 00:07

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