Short wind turns with strong cooling effect

Sea surface temperatures in the tropics have a major influence on the climate in the tropics and the adjacent continents. For example, they determine the position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and the beginning and strength of the West African monsoon. Therefore, it is important to understand the variability of sea surface temperatures for climate predictions. Until now, the seasonal cycle of sea surface temperature in the tropical North Atlantic could not be sufficiently explained. "More precisely, the sea surface is colder than predicted by the combination of previous direct observations of solar radiation, currents and mixing, especially in the summer months from July to September," explains Dr. Rebecca Hummels from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and first author of a study now published in Nature Communications.