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03.05.11: Notes on “Parameterization of Mixed Layer Eddies. Part II: Prognosis and Impact” by Fox-Kemper and Ferrari (2008)

About using horizontal SST gradient to see where restratification occurs:

“The horizontal buoyancy gradient is more difficult to determine. Using a climatology, such as Levitus’, vastly underestimates mesoscale gradients because of smoothing. Using satellite sea surface temperature overestimates the relevant buoyancy gradients. Attempts were made with a number of satellite-based SST products, but all produced vertical fluxes from (17) so large that they dominated surface fluxes throughout the global ocean and would rapidly restratify the ML worldwide. If the temperature gradients observed resulted in buoyancy gradients they would immediately yield to instabilities and slump down. The observational evidence that these small-scale temperature gradients persist is an indication of unobserved compensating salinity gradients (Rudnick and Ferrari 1999; Hosegood et al. 2006).”

Instead they use satellite altimetry to convert eddy kinetic energy into horizontal gradient of buoyancy.