Articles | Volume 16, issue 6
14 Dec 2009
 | 14 Dec 2009

Low-frequency variability of the Kuroshio Extension

S. Pierini and H. A. Dijkstra

Abstract. In this paper, we provide a review of recent results targeted at the understanding of the low-frequency variability of the Kuroshio Extension. We provide the background and main arguments of two views which have recently been proposed to explain this variability. In the first view, wind-induced Rossby waves and the effects of mesocale eddies are crucial. The second view is based on low-dimensional equivalent-barotropic large-scale nonlinear dynamics, with neither Rossby wave dynamics nor baroclinic instability being important. Results from models supporting each view are discussed and confronted with results from available observations.