Record-low coastal sea levels in the Northeast Pacific during the winter of 2013–2014

Yaqi Wang, Hailong Liu, Pengfei Lin, Jianjun Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

During the winter of 2013–2014, the averaged tide gauge (TG) coastal sea level (CSL) anomaly north of 40°N was a record low of −107 mm for the period of 1948–2016. Statistical analysis indicates that this large drop was a once-in-a-century event and closely related to an unusual ocean warming event known as “The Blob”. The Blob developed in the NE Pacific during the winter of 2013–2014. Both the Blob and record-low CSL can be attributed to wind changes associated with an unusually high sea level pressure (SLP) pattern over the NE Pacific. The anomalous local longshore winds induced by the positive SLP anomalies caused strong offshore Ekman transport along the coast of NE Pacific, thereby leading to the record-low CSL. In addition, the steric sea level changes also contributed a significant part (17%) to the record-low CSL. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), as the primary variability mode in the NE Pacific on decadal time scales, did not contribute to the emergence of this extreme CSL event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3774
JournalScientific reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

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Oceans and Seas
Pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Record-low coastal sea levels in the Northeast Pacific during the winter of 2013–2014. / Wang, Yaqi; Liu, Hailong; Lin, Pengfei; Yin, Jianjun.

In: Scientific reports, Vol. 9, No. 1, 3774, 01.12.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "During the winter of 2013–2014, the averaged tide gauge (TG) coastal sea level (CSL) anomaly north of 40°N was a record low of −107 mm for the period of 1948–2016. Statistical analysis indicates that this large drop was a once-in-a-century event and closely related to an unusual ocean warming event known as “The Blob”. The Blob developed in the NE Pacific during the winter of 2013–2014. Both the Blob and record-low CSL can be attributed to wind changes associated with an unusually high sea level pressure (SLP) pattern over the NE Pacific. The anomalous local longshore winds induced by the positive SLP anomalies caused strong offshore Ekman transport along the coast of NE Pacific, thereby leading to the record-low CSL. In addition, the steric sea level changes also contributed a significant part (17{\%}) to the record-low CSL. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), as the primary variability mode in the NE Pacific on decadal time scales, did not contribute to the emergence of this extreme CSL event.",
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