Speaker:Professor Carl Wunsch
Prof. Carl Wunsch talk about his work on time-averaged ocean circulation. Please see below for more details:
A Time-Averaged Ocean Circulation and What It Might Mean
For historically good observational reasons, theoretical descriptions of the ocean circulation have usually failed to distinguish between two contradictory hypotheses: that the circulation so described was (A) the instantaneous steady-state one or, (B) the time-average one. Modern observational systems that have existed since the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (1992+) have made it possible to produce both near instantaneous (hourly) and time-averaged (20+ years) dynamically consistent state estimates--method to be briefly described. The availability of a spatially near-homogeneous time-average raises a whole series of interesting theoretical and practical questions, ranging from the extent to which the textbook theories do describe it; to the determination of long-term trends in quantities such as heat content in a system that conserves energy; and the accuracies of such quantities. A simple qualitative result is the striking extent to which spatially restricted circulation features survive 20-years of averaging even in the open ocean.