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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2016, Article ID 3659657, 7 pages
Research Article

Significant Atmospheric Boundary Layer Change Observed above an Agulhas Current Warm Cored Eddy

1Laboratoire de Physique des Océans, CNRS, UMR 6523, BP 70, 29280 Plouzané Cedex, France
2Southern Ocean Carbon & Climate Observatory, Council for Scientific & Industrial Research, 15 Lower Hope Street, Rosebank 7700, South Africa
3Department of Oceanography, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7707, South Africa

Received 2 December 2015; Accepted 1 February 2016

Academic Editor: Jorge E. Gonzalez

Copyright © 2016 C. Messager and S. Swart. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The air-sea impact of a warm cored eddy ejected from the Agulhas Retroflection region south of Africa was assessed through both ocean and atmospheric profiling measurements during the austral summer. The presence of the eddy causes dramatic atmospheric boundary layer deepening, exceeding what was measured previously over such a feature in the region. This deepening seems mainly due to the turbulent heat flux anomaly above the warm eddy inducing extensive deep and persistent changes in the atmospheric boundary layer thermodynamics. The loss of heat by turbulent processes suggests that this kind of oceanic feature is an important and persistent source of heat for the atmosphere.