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  • 2015-2019  (24)
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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: Recent evidence from mooring data in the equatorial Atlantic reveals that semi-annual and longer time scale ocean current variability is close to being resonant with equatorial basin modes. Here we show that intraseasonal variability, with time scales of 10's of days, provides the energy to maintain these resonant basin modes against dissipation. The mechanism is analogous to that by which storm systems in the atmosphere act to maintain the atmospheric jet stream. We demonstrate the mechanism using an idealised model set-up that exhibits equatorial deep jets. The results are supported by direct analysis of available mooring data from the equatorial Atlantic Ocean covering a depth range of several thousand meters. The analysis of the mooring data suggests that the same mechanism also helps maintain the seasonal variability.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: The parameterization of sub-grid scale processes is one of the key challenges towards improved numerical simulations of the atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Numerical weather prediction models as well as climate models would benefit from more sophisticated turbulence closures that allow for less spurious dissipation at the grid-scale and consequently higher and more realistic levels of eddy kinetic energy (EKE). Recent studies propose to use a hyperviscous closure in combination with an additional deterministic forcing term as a negative viscosity to represent backscatter of energy from unresolved scales. The sub-grid EKE is introduced as an additional prognostic variable that is fed by dissipation at the grid scale, and enables recycling of EKE via the backscatter term at larger scales. This parameterization was previously shown to work well in zonally re-entrant channel configurations. Here, a generalization in the form of a Rossby number-dependent scaling for the strength of the backscatter is introduced to represent the emergence of a forward energy-cascade in unbalanced flows near the boundaries. We apply the parameterization to a shallow water model of a double gyre basin and provide evidence for its general applicability. In terms of mean state and variability, a low resolution model is considerably improved towards a high resolution control run at low additional computational cost.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 3
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    Springer
    In:  Climate Dynamics, 51 (1-2). pp. 597-612.
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: The Atlantic Niño is the dominant mode of interannual sea surface temperature (SST) variability in the eastern equatorial Atlantic. Current coupled global climate models struggle to reproduce its variability. This is thought to be partly related to an equatorial SST bias that inhibits summer cold tongue growth. Here, we address the question whether the equatorial SST bias affects the ability of a coupled global climate model to produce realistic dynamical SST variability. We assess this by decomposing SST variability into dynamical and stochastic components. To compare our model results with observations, we employ empirical linear models of dynamical SST that, based on the Bjerknes feedback, use the two predictors sea surface height and zonal surface wind. We find that observed dynamical SST variance shows a pronounced seasonal cycle. It peaks during the active phase of the Atlantic Niño and is then roughly 4–7 times larger than stochastic SST variance. This indicates that the Atlantic Niño is a dynamical phenomenon that is related to the Bjerknes feedback. In the coupled model, the SST bias suppresses the summer peak in dynamical SST variance. Bias reduction, however, improves the representation of the seasonal cold tongue and enhances dynamical SST variability by supplying a background state that allows key feedbacks of the tropical ocean–atmosphere system to operate in the model. Due to the small zonal extent of the equatorial Atlantic, the observed Bjerknes feedback acts quasi-instantaneously during the dynamically active periods of boreal summer and early boreal winter. Then, all elements of the observed Bjerknes feedback operate simultaneously. The model cannot reproduce this, although it hints at a better performance when using bias reduction.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 4
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    AMS (American Meteorological Society)
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 48 (2). pp. 261-281.
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: Multi-year moored velocity observations of the Angola Current near 11°S reveal a weak southward mean flow superimposed by substantial intraseasonal to seasonal variability, including annual and semiannual cycles with distinct baroclinic structures. In the equatorial Atlantic these oscillations are associated with basin-mode resonances of the fourth and second baroclinic modes, respectively. Here, the role of basin-mode resonance and local forcing for the Angola Current seasonality are investigated. A suite of linear shallow-water models for the tropical Atlantic is employed, each model representing a single baroclinic mode forced at a specific period. The annually and semiannually oscillating forcing is given by 1) an idealized zonally uniform zonal forcing restricted to the equatorial band corresponding to a remote equatorial forcing or 2) realistic, spatially-varying Fourier components of wind stress data that include local forcing off Angola, particularly alongshore winds. Model-computed modal amplitudes are scaled to match moored velocity observations from the equatorial Atlantic. The observed annual cycle of alongshore velocity at 11°S is well reproduced by the remote equatorial forcing. Including local forcing slightly improves the agreement between observed and simulated semiannual oscillations at 11°S compared to the purely equatorial forcing. However, the model-computed semiannual cycle lacks amplitude at mid-depth. This could be the result of either underestimating the strength of the second equatorial basin-mode of the fourth baroclinic mode or other processes not accounted for in the shallow-water models. Overall, our findings underline the importance of large-scale linear equatorial wave dynamics for the seasonal variability of the boundary circulation off Angola.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 5
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    AGU (American Geological Union) | Wiley
    In:  Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 123 (3). pp. 2037-2048.
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: Monthly mean sea level anomalies in the tropical Pacific for the period 1961-2002 are reconstructed using a linear, multi-mode model driven by monthly mean wind stress anomalies from the NCEP/NCAR and ERA-40 reanalysis products. Overall, the sea level anomalies reconstructed by both wind stress products agree well with the available tide gauge data, although with poor performance at Kanton Island in the western-central equatorial Pacific and reduced amplitude at Christmas Island. The reduced performance is related to model error in locating the pivot point in sea level variability associated with the so-called “tilt” mode. We present evidence that the pivot point was further west during the period 1993-2014 than during the period 1961-2002 and attribute this to a persistent upward trend in the zonal wind stress variance along the equator west of 160° W throughout the period 1961-2014. Experiments driven by the zonal component of the wind stress alone reproduce much of the trend in sea level found in the experiments driven by both components of the wind stress. The experiments show an upward trend in sea level in the eastern tropical Pacific over the period 1961-2002, but with a much stronger upward trend when using the NCEP/NCAR product. We argue that the latter is related to an overly strong eastward trend in zonal wind stress in the eastern-central Pacific that is believed to be a spurious feature of the NCEP/NCAR product.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2020-02-06
    Description: Benthic storms are important for both the energy budget of the ocean and for sediment resuspension and transport. Using 30 years of output from a high-resolution model of the North Atlantic, it is found that most of the benthic storms in the model occur near the western boundary in association with the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Current, in regions that are generally co-located with the peak near-bottom eddy kinetic energy. A common feature are meander troughs in the near-surface jets that are accompanied by deep low pressure anomalies spinning up deep cyclones with near-bottom velocities of up to more than 0.5 m/s. A case study of one of these events shows the importance of both baroclinic and barotropic instability of the jet, with energy being extracted from the jet in the upstream part of the meander trough and partly returned to the jet in the downstream part of the meander trough. This motivates examining the 30-year time mean of the energy transfer from the (annual mean) background flow into the eddy kinetic energy. This quantity is shown to be co-located well with the region in which benthic storms and large increases in deep cyclonic relative vorticity occur most frequently, suggesting an important role for mixed barotropic-baroclinic instability driven cyclogenesis in generating benthic storms throughout the model simulation. Regions of largest energy transfer and most frequent benthic storms are found to be the Gulf Stream west of the New England Seamounts and the North Atlantic Current near Flemish Cap.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 7
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    In:  [Talk] In: EGU General Assembly 2018, 08.-13.04.2018, Vienna, Austria .
    Publication Date: 2018-06-28
    Description: A large fraction of interannual variability of the East Asian Summer Monsoon (EASM) can be described by the first two modes of a Multivariate Empirical Orthogonal Functions (MV-EOF) analysis of horizontal wind vectors in the lower and upper troposphere over the East Asian region. The first mode resembles the Pacific-Japan pattern and represents about 20% of the EASM interannual variance. The positive phase of the PJ-pattern is associated with anomalous anticyclonic flow over the tropical western North Pacific in the lower troposphere, leading to enhanced rainfall over the climatological East Asian rain band. Focusing on June/July/August and on the first MV-EOF mode (PJ-mode here) we investigate the relation between tropical intraseasonal variability, namely the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) and the EASM. The second MV-EOF mode had previously been found to be influenced mainly by the Indian Summer Monsoon and is not discussed in this presentation. First, it is found that the MJO modulates the intraseasonal variability of the PJ-pattern, in that early MJO phases, related to enhanced convective precipitation over the Indian Ocean, favour the positive phase of the PJ-mode and late MJO phases, related to enhanced convective precipitation over the Maritime Continent and the western tropical Pacific, favour the negative phase of the PJ-mode. Second, using a decomposition method introduced by Yoo, Feldstein and Lee (2011), we show that interannual variability of the MJO contributes about 11% to the interannual variability of the EASM. Thereby, interannual changes in the frequency of occurrence of the eight standard MJO phases are more important to the variability of the EASM than changes in the circulation patterns associated with the different MJO phases. Some discussion on the involved mechanisms will be given.
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 8
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    In:  [Poster] In: MiKlip Status Seminar 2018, 28.- 30.05.2018, Berlin, Germany .
    Publication Date: 2018-10-02
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  • 9
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    In:  [Poster] In: MiKlip Status Seminar 2017, 28.-30.05.2018, Berlin, Germany .
    Publication Date: 2018-10-02
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  • 10
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    In:  [Invited talk] In: TRR181 Winterschool, 01.03.2018, Gosslar, Germany .
    Publication Date: 2018-11-22
    Type: Conference or Workshop Item , NonPeerReviewed
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