Spectral and geographical variability in the oceanic response to atmospheric pressure fluctuations, as inferred from \textquotedblleftdynamic barometer\textquotedblright Green\textquoterights functions

A decade ago, a novel theoretical approach was developed (Dickman, 1998) for determining the dynamic response of the oceans to atmospheric pressure variations, a response nicknamed the \textquotedblleftdynamic barometer\textquotedblright (DB), and the effects of that response on Earth\textquoterights rotation. This approach employed a generalized, spherical harmonic ocean tide model to compute oceanic Green\textquoterights functions, the oceans\textquoteright fluid dynamic response to unit-amplitude pressure forcing on various spatial and temporal scales, and then construct rotational Green\textquoterights functions, representing the rotational effects of that response. When combined with the observed atmospheric pressure field, the rotational Green\textquoterights functions would yield the effects of the DB on Earth\textquoterights rotation. The Green\textquoterights functions reflect in some way the geographical and spectral sensitivity of the oceans to atmospheric pressure forcing. We have formulated a measure of that sensitivity using a simple combination of rotational Green\textquoterights functions. We find that the DB response of the oceans to atmospheric pressure forcing depends significantly on geographic location and on frequency. Compared to the inverted barometer (IB) (the traditional static model), the DB effects differ slightly at long periods but become very different at shorter periods. Among all the responses, the prograde polar motion effects are the most dynamic, with large portions of the North Atlantic and some of the North Pacific no larger than one third of IB, but most of the Southern Hemisphere oceans at least 50\% greater than IB.
Year of Publication
Journal of Geophysical Research (Oceans)
Number of Pages
Date Published