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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

GODAS Subsurface Temperature Anomaly Animations – January 1979 to December 2009

The NCEP Global Ocean Data Assimilation System (GODAS) Animations webpage allows users to view .gif animations of their various datasets. I have wanted to study three of them but have been frustrated with the load time and with the inability to start and stop the animation or to replay periods that interested me. I discovered the animations at the bottom of the GODAS index webpage here:
And here:

I converted them to a format useable by YouTube.

Pacific Zonal Average Temperature Anomaly Animation

The first is the Pacific Zonal Average Temperature animation, which appears to be the average of the subsurface temperatures of the three longitudes provided in the Pacific Y-Z plots (165E, 140W, 110W).

YouTube Link:

Global X-Z Temperature Anomaly Animation at the Equator

The second is the animation of subsurface temperatures at the equator to depths of 1000 meters (Global X-Z animation at 0N).

YouTube Link:

Global X-Z Temperature Anomaly Animation at 8S Latitude

The last is the animation of subsurface temperatures at 8S to depths of 1000 meters (Global X-Z animation at 8S).

YouTube Link:


The direct link for download (Right click and “Save Target As…”) is here for the GODAS .gif of the Pacific Zonal Average Temperature animation:

The link for the Global X-Z animation at the equator is:

And the link for the Global X-Z animation at 8S latitude is:


Unknown said...

Bob, all you need to do is add some 60's psychedelic rock and you will have reproduced the actual lava lamp effect. All kidding aside, the animations show a highly dynamic thermal environment. What are the mechanisms that create the vertical transport of warm and cold water?

Bob Tisdale said...

Howard: There are many subsurface currents in the tropical Pacific that strengthen and weaken seasonally and during ENSO events as the warm water sloshes back and forth. The following is a map view of the currents:
It’s Figure 5 from a multipart post of a paper by Bill Kessler of NOAA “The circulation of the eastern tropical Pacific: A review”. Link:

In addition, most discussions of Meridional Overturning Circulation pertain to multidecadal circulation where the waters are subducted at high latitudes and drop to deep ocean layers, but MOC is also taking place in much shorter time periods nearer the surface. For starters, refer to:

Also, since the animations are looking at anomalies in cross sections, warm and cool subsurface “pools” of water can be moving horizontally and give the illusion that there’s vertical movement as they move into and out of the field of view.


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