Detection of the Oyashio and Kuroshio fronts under the projected climate change in the 21st century

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Abstract

We evaluate the Oyashio and Kuroshio fronts latitudinal transition under the projected climate change scenarios using eddy resolving regional ocean climate projection products from 1981 to 2100. The regional ocean climate projections are produced based on dynamical downscaling of four CMIP5 models and two RCP experiments RCP2.6 and RCP8.5. Two approaches of the fronts detection methods are compared. One is conventional approach based on subsurface specific isotherm and another is newly proposed approach based on the Oyashio and Kuroshio water temperature and salinity (TS) profiles that may change as the global warming progresses. It is found that the Oyashio TS profile rapidly shift to be high both in temperature and salinity in RCP8.5 cases while the Kuroshio TS profile shows small change toward the end of the twenty-first century in all cases. Northward shift of the Oyashio and Kuroshio fronts reaches 2° northward by the late twenty-first century in extreme case of RCP8.5 cases from the temperature-based definition. On the other hand, the northward shifts of fronts are less than 1° when we use the TS-based definition. The comparison of both fronts positions with the surface velocity distributions suggest that the TS-based definition captures transitions of the fronts better than the temperature-based definition. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

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Nishikawa, H., Nishikawa, S., Ishizaki, H., Wakamatsu, T., & Ishikawa, Y. (2020). Detection of the Oyashio and Kuroshio fronts under the projected climate change in the 21st century. Progress in Earth and Planetary Science, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40645-020-00342-2

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