Water transport among the world ocean basins within the water cycle

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Title: Water transport among the world ocean basins within the water cycle
Authors: Garcia-Garcia, David | Vigo, Isabel | Trottini, Mario
Research Group/s: Geodesia por Satélites para la Observación de la Tierra y el Cambio Climático / Satellite Geodesy for Earth Observation and Climate Studies (SG)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Matemática Aplicada | Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Matemáticas
Keywords: Water transport | Ocean basins | Water cycle
Knowledge Area: Matemática Aplicada | Estadística e Investigación Operativa
Issue Date: 7-Dec-2020
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
Citation: Earth System Dynamics. 2020, 11: 1089-1106. https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-11-1089-2020
Abstract: The global water cycle involves water-mass transport on land, in the atmosphere, in the ocean, and among them. Quantification of such transport, especially its time evolution, is essential to identify the footprints of climate change, and it also helps to constrain and improve climatic models. In the ocean, net water-mass transport among the ocean basins is a key process, but it is currently a poorly estimated parameter. We propose a new methodology that incorporates the time-variable gravity observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite (2003–2016) to estimate the change in water content; this new approach also overcomes some fundamental limitations of existing methods. We show that the Pacific and Arctic oceans receive an average of 1916 (95 % confidence interval of [1812, 2021]) Gt per month (∼0.72±0.02 Sv) of excess freshwater from the atmosphere and the continents that is discharged into the Atlantic and Indian oceans, where net evaporation minus precipitation returns the water to complete the cycle. This is in contrast to previous GRACE-based studies, where the notion of a see-saw mass exchange between the Pacific and the Atlantic and Indian oceans has been reported. Seasonal climatology as well as the interannual variability of water-mass transport are also reported.
Sponsor: This research has been supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (grant no. RTI2018-093874-B-100).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10045/110727
ISSN: 2190-4979 (Print) | 2190-4987 (Online)
DOI: 10.5194/esd-11-1089-2020
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Peer Review: si
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-11-1089-2020
Appears in Collections:INV - SG - Artículos de Revistas

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