Meridional oceanic heat transport influences marine heatwaves in the Tasman Sea on interannual to decadal timescales
Frontiers in Marine Science (2019)
We demonstrate a causal link between ocean heat content and the area and intensity of marine heatwaves (MHWs) in the Tasman Sea on interannual to decadal time scales.
Using data from a forced global ocean sea-ice model, we show that ocean heat content fluctuations in the Tasman Sea are predominantly controlled by oceanic meridional heat transport from the subtropics. Models and observations show that periods with positive upper (2000 m) ocean heat content anomalies are characterized by more frequent, larger, longer and more intense MHWs.
Thus, ocean heat content can be a useful indicator and measure of the likelihood of MHWs.