2021 journal article
Effects of Ocean Optical Properties and Solar Attenuation on the Northwestern Atlantic Ocean Heat Content and Hurricane Intensity
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 48(13).
This study investigated how ocean optical properties and solar attenuation may affect the upper ocean temperature structure and ocean heat content (OHC). We employed a realistic three-dimensional ocean circulation model for the northwestern Atlantic to simulate ocean states during the active Atlantic hurricane season of 2017. Sensitivity experiments were performed by coupling the ocean circulation prediction with either a conventional water type-based solar attenuation model or an inherent optical properties (IOP)-based model. Validations against in-situ ocean temperature observations and remote sensing-derived OHC showed that ocean simulations using the IOP-based model outperformed simulations using the conventional water type-based model in predicting sea surface temperature, upper ocean thermal structure, and OHC. An OHC-hurricane intensity relationship derived for five major hurricanes in 2017 suggests that the ocean optical properties and the application of an appropriate solar attenuation model are important for the forecast of hurricane intensity.