Fig. 3.14 Annual mean loss of GPE to convective adjustment (mW/m2) (Huang and Wang, 2003). See color plate section.

cooling/salinification, surface buoyancy forcing gives rise to a sink of GPE. The quantitative amount of energy loss through this process remains unclear. A preliminary estimate based on the monthly mean climatology for this sink term is about 0.24 TW (Fig. 3.14). Because such an estimate is based on monthly mean climatology, it may be exceeded by estimations based on a calculation in which the diurnal cycle is resolved.

The corresponding gain of GPE associated with buoyancy gain is estimated as 0.13 TW (Huang and Wang, 2003). Note that a gain of GPE is converted from KE associated with surface waves and turbulence, so this should not be counted again as a separate source of mechanical energy for the world's oceans.

Source/sink of GPE due to surface mass flux

Freshwater flux through the air-sea interface is actually a mass flux. As discussed in Section 3.5, the GPE balance of the world's oceans is

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