The Azimuth Project
Oceanic Rossby wave (Rev #2, changes)

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Contents

Idea

Oceanic Rossby waves are very low-frequency waves in the ocean’s surface and thermocline. At the ocean’s surface they are only 5 centimeters high, but hundreds of kilometers across. They move at about 10 centimeters/second, requiring months to years to cross the ocean! The surface waves are mirrored by waves in the thermocline, which are much larger, 10-50 meters in height. When the surface goes up, the thermocline goes down.

References

You can watch a 3-year long movie of oceanic Rossby waves, and also read more about them here:

These authors have investigated the characteristics of low-frequency, large-scale Rossby waves using data from the TOPEX/Poseidon satellite.

category: climate