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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-04-11
    Description: We revisit the challenges and prospects for ocean circulation models following Griffies et al. (2010). Over the past decade, ocean circulation models evolved through improved understanding, numerics, spatial discretization, grid configurations, parameterizations, data assimilation, environmental monitoring, and process-level observations and modeling. Important large scale applications over the last decade are simulations of the Southern Ocean, the Meridional Overturning Circulation and its variability, and regional sea level change. Submesoscale variability is now routinely resolved in process models and permitted in a few global models, and submesoscale effects are parameterized in most global models. The scales where nonhydrostatic effects become important are beginning to be resolved in regional and process models. Coupling to sea ice, ice shelves, and high-resolution atmospheric models has stimulated new ideas and driven improvements in numerics. Observations have provided insight into turbulence and mixing around the globe and its consequences are assessed through perturbed physics models. Relatedly, parameterizations of the mixing and overturning processes in boundary layers and the ocean interior have improved. New diagnostics being used for evaluating models alongside present and novel observations are briefly referenced. The overall goal is summarizing new developments in ocean modeling, including: how new and existing observations can be used, what modeling challenges remain, and how simulations can be used to support observations.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 26 . pp. 2251-2266.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: A simple point-vortex “heton” model is used to study localized ocean convection. In particular, the statistically steady state that is established when lateral buoyancy transfer, effected by baroclinic instability, offsets the localized surface buoyancy loss is investigated. Properties of the steady state, such as the statistically steady density anomaly of the convection region, are predicted using the hypothesis of a balance between baroclinic eddy transfer and the localized surface buoyancy loss. These predictions compare favorably with the values obtained through numerical integration of the heton model. The steady state of the heron model can be related to that in other convection scenarios considered in several recent studies by means of a generalized description of the localized convection. This leads to predictions of the equilibrium density anomalies in these scenarios, which concur with those obtained by other authors. Advantages of the heton model include its inviscid nature, emphasizing the independence of the fluxes affected by the baroclinic eddies from molecular processes, and its extreme economy, allowing a very large parameter space to be covered. This economy allows us to examine more complicated forcing scenarios: for example, forcing regions of varying shape. By increasing the ellipticity of the forcing region, the instability is modified by the shape and, as a result, no increase in lateral fluxes occurs despite the increased perimeter length. The parameterization of convective mixing by a redistribution of potential vorticity, implicit in the heton model, is corroborated; the heton model equilibrium state has analogous quantitative scaling behavior to that in models or laboratory experiments that resolve the vertical motions. The simplified dynamics of the heton model therefore allows the adiabatic advection resulting from baroclinic instability to be examined in isolation from vertical mixing and diffusive processes. These results demonstrate the importance of baroclinic instability in controlling the properties of a water mass generated by localized ocean convection. A complete parameterization of this process must therefore account for the fluxes induced by horizontal variations in surface buoyancy loss and affected by baroclinic instability.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © The Authors, 2005. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 53 (2006): 140-156, doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2005.09.014.
    Description: Much recent observational evidence suggests that energy from the barotropic tides may be used for mixing in the deep ocean. Here the process of internal tide generation and dissipation by tidal flow over an isolated Gaussian topography is examined, using 2-dimensional numerical simulations employing the MITgcm. Four different topographies are considered, for five different amplitudes of barotropic forcing, thereby allowing a variety of combinations of key nondimensional parameters. While much recent attention has focused on the role of relative topographic steepness and height in modifying the rate of conversion of energy from barotropic to baroclinic modes, here attention is focused on parameters dependent on the flow amplitude. For narrow topography, large amplitude forcing gives rise to baroclinic responses at higher harmonics of the forcing frequency. Tall narrow topographies are found to be the most conducive to mixing. Dissipation rates in these calculations are most efficient for the narrowest topography.
    Description: KH was supported by a Summer Student Fellowship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. SL was supported by Office of Naval Research grant N00014-03-1-0336.
    Keywords: Tides ; Internal waves ; Ocean mixing
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Preprint
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-02-02
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 90 (2009): 657-670, doi:10.1175/2008BAMS2667.1.
    Description: Oceanic overflows are bottom-trapped density currents originating in semienclosed basins, such as the Nordic seas, or on continental shelves, such as the Antarctic shelf. Overflows are the source of most of the abyssal waters, and therefore play an important role in the large-scale ocean circulation, forming a component of the sinking branch of the thermohaline circulation. As they descend the continental slope, overflows mix vigorously with the surrounding oceanic waters, changing their density and transport significantly. These mixing processes occur on spatial scales well below the resolution of ocean climate models, with the result that deep waters and deep western boundary currents are simulated poorly. The Gravity Current Entrainment Climate Process Team was established by the U.S. Climate Variability and Prediction (CLIVAR) Program to accelerate the development and implementation of improved representations of overflows within large-scale climate models, bringing together climate model developers with those conducting observational, numerical, and laboratory process studies of overflows. Here, the organization of the Climate Process Team is described, and a few of the successes and lessons learned during this collaboration are highlighted, with some emphasis on the well-observed Mediterranean overflow. The Climate Process Team has developed several different overflow parameterizations, which are examined in a hierarchy of ocean models, from comparatively well-resolved regional models to the largest-scale global climate models.
    Description: The Gravity Current Entrainment Climate Process Team was funded by NSF grants OCE-0336850 and OCE-0611572 and NOAA as a contribution to U.S.CLIVAR.
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-01-05
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2013. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 43 (2013): 602–615, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-055.1.
    Description: The ocean interior stratification and meridional overturning circulation are largely sustained by diapycnal mixing. The breaking of internal tides is a major source of diapycnal mixing. Many recent climate models parameterize internal-tide breaking using the scheme of St. Laurent et al. While this parameterization dynamically accounts for internal-tide generation, the vertical distribution of the resultant mixing is ad hoc, prescribing energy dissipation to decay exponentially above the ocean bottom with a fixed-length scale. Recently, Polzin formulated a dynamically based parameterization, in which the vertical profile of dissipation decays algebraically with a varying decay scale, accounting for variable stratification using Wentzel–Kramers–Brillouin (WKB) stretching. This study compares two simulations using the St. Laurent and Polzin formulations in the Climate Model, version 2G (CM2G), ocean–ice–atmosphere coupled model, with the same formulation for internal-tide energy input. Focusing mainly on the Pacific Ocean, where the deep low-frequency variability is relatively small, the authors show that the ocean state shows modest but robust and significant sensitivity to the vertical profile of internal-tide-driven mixing. Therefore, not only the energy input to the internal tides matters, but also where in the vertical it is dissipated.
    Description: This work is a component of the Internal- Wave Driven Mixing Climate Process Team funded by the National Science Foundation Grant OCE-0968721 and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Award NA08OAR4320752.
    Description: 2013-09-01
    Keywords: Diapycnal mixing ; Internal waves ; Subgrid-scale processes ; Ocean models ; Parameterization
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-06-01
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 98 (2017): 2429-2454, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0030.1.
    Description: Diapycnal mixing plays a primary role in the thermodynamic balance of the ocean and, consequently, in oceanic heat and carbon uptake and storage. Though observed mixing rates are on average consistent with values required by inverse models, recent attention has focused on the dramatic spatial variability, spanning several orders of magnitude, of mixing rates in both the upper and deep ocean. Away from ocean boundaries, the spatiotemporal patterns of mixing are largely driven by the geography of generation, propagation, and dissipation of internal waves, which supply much of the power for turbulent mixing. Over the last 5 years and under the auspices of U.S. Climate Variability and Predictability Program (CLIVAR), a National Science Foundation (NSF)- and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-supported Climate Process Team has been engaged in developing, implementing, and testing dynamics-based parameterizations for internal wave–driven turbulent mixing in global ocean models. The work has primarily focused on turbulence 1) near sites of internal tide generation, 2) in the upper ocean related to wind-generated near inertial motions, 3) due to internal lee waves generated by low-frequency mesoscale flows over topography, and 4) at ocean margins. Here, we review recent progress, describe the tools developed, and discuss future directions.
    Description: We are grateful to U.S. CLIVAR for their leadership in instigating and facilitating the Climate Process Team program. We are indebted to NSF and NOAA for sponsoring the CPT series.
    Description: 2018-06-01
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-12-21
    Description: Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2015. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Nature Publishing Group for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Nature 521 (2015): 65-69, doi:10.1038/nature14399.
    Description: Internal gravity waves, the subsurface analogue of the familiar surface gravity waves that break on beaches, are ubiquitous in the ocean. Because of their strong vertical and horizontal currents, and the turbulent mixing caused by their breaking, they impact a panoply of ocean processes, such as the supply of nutrients for photosynthesis1, sediment and pollutant transport2 and acoustic transmission3; they also pose hazards for manmade structures in the ocean4. Generated primarily by the wind and the tides, internal waves can travel thousands of kilometres from their sources before breaking5, posing severe challenges for their observation and their inclusion in numerical climate models, which are sensitive to their effects6-7. Over a decade of studies8-11 have targeted the South China Sea, where the oceans’ most powerful internal waves are generated in the Luzon Strait and steepen dramatically as they propagate west. Confusion has persisted regarding their generation mechanism, variability and energy budget, however, due to the lack of in-situ data from the Luzon Strait, where extreme flow conditions make measurements challenging. Here we employ new observations and numerical models to (i) show that the waves begin as sinusoidal disturbances rather than from sharp hydraulic phenomena, (ii) reveal the existence of 〉200-m-high breaking internal waves in the generation region that give rise to turbulence levels 〉10,000 times that in the open ocean, (iii) determine that the Kuroshio western boundary current significantly refracts the internal wave field emanating from the Luzon Strait, and (iv) demonstrate a factor-of-two agreement between modelled and observed energy fluxes that enables the first observationally-supported energy budget of the region. Together, these findings give a cradle-to-grave picture of internal waves on a basin scale, which will support further improvements of their representation in numerical climate predictions.
    Description: Our work was supported by the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the Taiwan National Science Council.
    Description: 2015-10-29
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Preprint
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Diapycnal mixing plays a primary role in the thermodynamic balance of the ocean, and consequently, in oceanic heat and carbon uptake and storage. Though observed mixing rates are on average consistent with values required by inverse models, recent attention has focused on the dramatic spatial variability, spanning several orders of magnitude, of mixing rates in both the upper and deep ocean. Climate models have been shown to be very sensitive not only to the overall level but to the detailed distribution of mixing; sub-grid-scale parameterizations based on accurate physical processes will allow model forecasts to evolve with a changing climate. Spatio-temporal patterns of mixing are largely driven by the geography of generation, propagation and destruction of internal waves, which are thought to supply much of the power for turbulent mixing. Over the last five years and under the auspices of US CLIVAR, a NSF and NOAA supported Climate Process Team has been engaged in developing, implementing and testing dynamics-base parameterizations for internal-wave driven turbulent mixing in global ocean models. The work has primarily focused on turbulence 1) near sites of internal tide generation, 2) in the upper ocean related to wind-generated near inertial motions, 3) due to internal lee waves generated by low-frequency mesoscale flows over topography, and 4) at ocean margins. Here we review recent progress, describe the tools developed, and discuss future directions.
    Keywords: Oceanography
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN40376 , Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (ISSN 0003-0007) (e-ISSN 1520-0477); 98; 11; 2429-2454
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 1998-05-01
    Print ISSN: 0022-3670
    Electronic ISSN: 1520-0485
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2003-11-01
    Print ISSN: 0022-3670
    Electronic ISSN: 1520-0485
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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