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Geophysical Monograph Series




On heat exchange of the Antarctic waters

V. G. Kort

The paper presents a schematic assessment of the heat exchange of Antarctic waters for the region from the coast of Antarctica to 40°S, that is, for the whole area of the Southern Ocean which is equal to 76×106 km2.
Actinometric observations of the Soviet Marine Expeditions on the diesel-electric ship Ob and observations made at the Antarctic stations Mirny, Lazarev, and Marion Island, as well as some of Privett's data were used for these computations.
A complete estimation of the heat budget was made for the sections along 10–15°, 90°E and 50°, 60–70°, 90°, 140–150°W; the quantities obtained were used for the latitudinal zones of the Southern Ocean. As a result of space and time integration it was found that the Southern Ocean annually gives off to the atmosphere 33,680×1018 gm cal and takes up 10,200×1018 gm cal. The income in the budget is lost in the melting of 23,000 km3 of ice (1,400×1018 gm cal) and in the warming of Antarctic waters proper, by approximately −1°C. (3,000×1018 gm cal). The heat spent on the warming of the atmosphere is compensated for by the heat carried by the deep waters from the north.
Meridional water-and heat-exchange was computed for nine sections (0°, 20°, 95°, 120° and 170°E, 160°, 110°, 80°, and 50°W) on the basis of the distribution of temperature and the equation of heat conductivity in the moving medium.
The above analysis shows that the contribution of the Southern Ocean to the thermal processes is twofold. Firstly, and mainly, the Southern Ocean gains a considerable quantity of heat from the adjacent oceans (33,680×1018 gm cal per year), and loses it in the warming of cold Antarctic air masses, thus exerting a decisive influence upon the atmospheric circulation of the Southern Hemisphere; secondly, the cold waters of the Southern Ocean penetrate into the adjacent oceans and noticeably cool their deep layers (the waters of the Pacific Ocean particularly).

Citation: Kort, V. G. (1962), On heat exchange of the Antarctic waters, in Antarctic Research: The Matthew Fontaine Maury Memorial Symposium, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 7, edited by H. Wexler, M. J. Rubin, and J. E. Caskey Jr., pp. 163–167, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/GM007p0163.

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