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Journal Articles Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics Year : 2021

Empirical evidence of a fluctuation theorem for the wind mechanical power input into the ocean

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Abstract

Abstract. Ocean dynamics is predominantly driven by the shear stress between the atmospheric winds and ocean currents. The mechanical power input to the ocean is fluctuating in space and time and the atmospheric wind sometimes decelerates the ocean currents. Building on 24 years of global satellite observations, the input of mechanical power to the ocean is analysed. A fluctuation theorem (FT) holds when the logarithm of the ratio between the occurrence of positive and negative events, of a certain magnitude of the power input, is a linear function of this magnitude and the averaging period. The flux of mechanical power to the ocean shows evidence of a FT for regions within the recirculation area of the subtropical gyre but not over extensions of western boundary currents. A FT puts a strong constraint on the temporal distribution of fluctuations of power input, connects variables obtained with different lengths of temporal averaging, guides the temporal down- and up-scaling and constrains the episodes of improbable events.
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Dates and versions

hal-03370039 , version 1 (07-10-2021)

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Achim Wirth, Bertrand Chapron. Empirical evidence of a fluctuation theorem for the wind mechanical power input into the ocean. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics, 2021, 28 (3), pp.371-378. ⟨10.5194/npg-28-371-2021⟩. ⟨hal-03370039⟩
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