The Southern Ocean mixed layer and its boundary fluxes: Fine-scale observational progress and future research priorities

Swart, Sebastiaan, du Plessis, Marcel D., Nicholson, Sarah Anne, Monteiro, Pedro M. S., Dove, Lilian A., Thomalla, Sandy, Thompson, Andrew F., Biddle, Louise C., Edholm, Johan M., Giddy, Isabelle, Heywood, Karen J. ORCID:, Lee, Craig, Mahadevan, Amala, Shilling, Geoff and de Souza, Ronald Buss (2023) The Southern Ocean mixed layer and its boundary fluxes: Fine-scale observational progress and future research priorities. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 381 (2249). ISSN 1364-503X

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Interactions between the upper ocean and air-ice-ocean fluxes in the Southern Ocean play a critical role in global climate by impacting the overturning circulation and oceanic heat and carbon uptake. Remote and challenging conditions have led to sparse observational coverage, while ongoing field programmes often fail to collect sufficient information in the right place or at the time-space scales required to constrain the variability occurring in the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. Only within the last 10 years have we been able to directly observe and assess the role of the fine-scale ocean and rapidly evolving atmospheric marine boundary layer on the upper limb of the Southern Ocean's overturning circulation. This review summarizes advances in mechanistic understanding, arising in part from observational programmes using autonomous platforms, of the fine-scale processes (1-100 km, hours-seasons) influencing the Southern Ocean mixed layer and its variability. We also review progress in observing the ocean interior connections and the coupled interactions between the ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere that moderate air-sea fluxes of heat and carbon. Most examples provided are for the ice-free Southern Ocean, while major challenges remain for observing the ice-covered ocean. We attempt to elucidate contemporary research gaps and ongoing/future efforts needed to address them. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue 'Heat and carbon uptake in the Southern Ocean: the state of the art and future priorities'.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: S.S. is supported by a Wallenberg Academy Fellowship (WAF 2015.0186) and the Swedish Research Council (VR 2019-04400). S.S. and S.-A.N. have been supported by STINT-NRF Mobility Grant and NRF-SANAP grant nos (SNA170522231782, SANAP200324510487). S.S., S.-A.N. and M.D.d.P. have received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 821001 (SO-CHIC). M.D.d.P. is supported by the European Union's Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship under Project ID 101032683. K.J.H. is supported by the European Research Council (under H2020-EU.1.1.) through research grant COMPASS (Climate-relevant Ocean Measurements and Processes on the Antarctic continental Shelf and Slope, grant agreement no. 741120). LCB was supported by the Swedish Research Council (VR grant 2020-04281). ST acknowledges institutional support from the CSIR Parliamentary Grant (0000005278, SNA2011112600001) and the Department of Science and Innovation.
Uncontrolled Keywords: air-sea fluxes,autonomous platforms,fine-scale,mixed layer,southern ocean,submesoscale,mathematics(all),engineering(all),physics and astronomy(all) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2600
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 May 2023 09:32
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2023 11:30
DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2022.0058


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