The sea surface temperature (SST) in the Taiwan Strait (TS) during autumn and winter (October–March) is strongly influenced by the northeast monsoon, which drives the cold China Coastal Current to flow southward into the TS, where it encounters the warm Kuroshio Branch Current coming from the south to form a quasi-steady front. Using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer data, this study investigated long-term SST warming phenomena in the TS during the northeast monsoon season in the years 1980–2012. The SST trend demonstrated significant temporal and spatial variations; the SST of the TS increased during the period 1980–2000 and warmed faster in winter and early spring (January–March) than in autumn. Warming of the spatial average SST of the TS in March during this period reached 3°C. The highest warming trend was noted in the SST frontal region, indicating a northwestward movement of the winter fronts; however, the SST of the TS exhibited a decreasing trend after 2000. The interannual and decadal SST variations in the TS are partly in response to a large-scale wind field anomaly during the northeast monsoon season.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)