Scientific themes

1. Western Boundary Currents                                                                                                                                                                              
   In the upper tropical Pacific Ocean, the WBCs consist of the MC/MUC, the Kuroshio/LUC, and the NGCC/NGCUC (Fig. 1). WBCs play a vital role in transporting heat and freshwater in and out of the NWP, maintaining mass/heat balance of the tropics, and in the recharge-discharge process of the warm pool.

          Figure 2: Sketch indicating surface and subsurface currents in the western Pacific.(From NPOCE Science Plan, 2010)

2. Interaction with Ambient Circulation Systems                                                                                                                                                
   The NWP exchanges heat and freshwater with the subtropical interior ocean, the equatorial tropical Pacific, the SCS, and the eastern tropical Indian Ocean. Clarifying the associated pathways, and the strength and spatial-temporal variations of these exchanges is essential for understanding low-frequency modulations of ocean and climate in the tropics and the SCS.

3. Roles of the Northwestern Pacific in Warm Pool Maintenance and Variability                                                                                     
  As the warmest open-ocean water in the world, the western Pacific warm pool plays an important role in the climate system of our planet. It has long been recognized that ocean dynamics and thermodynamics are crucial for the formation of the warm pool in the first place.

4. Regional Air-sea Interaction and Climatic Impact                                                                                                                                         
   The air-sea interaction over the NWP involves multi-scale processes ranging from synoptic to decadal timescales, and is further perplexed by their interactions. A better understanding of dynamic processes participating in air-sea interaction at different timescales is required for a better prediction of these weather and climate phenomena.