The role of the East Australian Current in climate: A systematic quantitative review (#1025)
The global oceans play a major role in climate variability and Earth’s climate systems on all scales and it is becoming more apparent that the major Western Boundary Currents (WBCs) are a significant contributor to this role in climate on a number of scales. The climate-driving capacity of WBCs increase in complexity with varying scales and geography, with dynamic processes such as, water-mass formation and eddy activity also adding to this complexity. The aim of this paper is to review the status quo of research regarding the role of the East Australian Current in climate. This paper provides a systematic quantitative review of 150 original studies on the role of WBCs in climate, their key dynamic aspects, as well as the potential influences the EAC has on the Tasman Sea. Certain metadata of the publications were distilled in the form of a database to allow for quantitative analysis: the geographical scope, journal and disciplines, publication years, data collection methods, oceanic characteristics analysed, database and models used, and key quantitative results – if applicable. The quantitative summaries highlighted an underrepresentation of the EAC in research investigating the role of WBCs in climate – research dominated by the Gulf Stream, Kuroshio Current, and the Agulhas Current. It is therefore apparent that further research is required to adequately understand the role of EAC in climate on all scales – such research may aid in the modelling of Australia’s climate variability and that of other regions in the southwest Pacific region.