Bathymetric effect on the winter sea surface temperature and climate of the Yellow and East China Seas

Shang Ping Xie, Jan Hafner, Youichi Tanimoto, W. Timothy Liu, Hiroki Tokinaga, Haiming Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Whether and how the atmosphere reacts to changes in extratropical sea surface temperature (SST) is under intense debate and this lack of understanding has been a major obstacle in the study of non-El Nino climate variability. Using new satellite measurements, we detect clear ocean-to-atmospheric feedback in the Yellow and East China (YEC) Seas that is triggered by the submerged ocean bottom topography. Under intense surface cooling in winter, water properties are well mixed up to 100 m deep. Ocean depth thus has a strong influence on SST of the continental shelf, leading to a remarkable collocation of warm tongues and deep channels. High winds and increased cloudiness are found over these warm tongues; one such band of ocean-atmospheric co-variation meanders through the basin, following a deep channel for an amazing distance of 1000 km. In addition to these climatic effects, the Kuroshio Front - where the warm current meets the much colder shelf water - strengthens the growth of storms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015884
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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