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  • 1
  • 2
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    American Meteorological Society
    In:  Journal of Physical Oceanography, 32 (12). pp. 3346-3363.
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: Experiments with a suite of North Atlantic general circulation models are used to examine the sources of eddy kinetic energy (EKE) in the Labrador Sea. A high-resolution model version (112°) quantitatively reproduces the observed signature. A particular feature of the EKE in the Labrador Sea is its pronounced seasonal cycle, with a maximum intensity in early winter, as already found in earlier studies based on altimeter data. In contrast to a previously advanced hypothesis, the seasonally varying eddy field is not related to a forcing by high-frequency wind variations but can be explained by a seasonally modulated instability of the West Greenland Current (WGC). The main source of EKE in the Labrador Sea is an energy transfer due to Reynolds interaction work (barotropic instability) in a confined region near Cape Desolation where the WGC adjusts to a change in the topographic slope: Geostrophic contours tend to converge upstream of Cape Desolation, such that the topographically guided WGC narrows as well and becomes barotropically unstable. The eddies spawned from the WGC instability area, dominating the EKE in the interior Labrador Sea, are predominantly anticyclonic with warm and saline cores in the upper kilometer of the water column, while the few cyclones originating as well from the instability area show a more depth-independent structure. Companion experiments with a ⅓° model exhibit the strength of the WGC, influenced by either changes in the wind stress or heat flux forcing, as a leading factor determining seasonal to interannual changes of EKE in the Labrador Sea
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
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    DWD
    In:  Promet - Meteorologische Fortbildung, 29 (1-4). pp. 15-28.
    Publication Date: 2016-10-04
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 4
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    Academic Pr.
    In:  In: Ocean Circulation and Climate. , ed. by Siedler, G., Church, J. and Gould, J. International Geophysics Series, 77 . Academic Pr., San Diego, pp. 59-77.
    Publication Date: 2012-01-27
    Type: Book chapter , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2016-10-07
    Description: The time dependent circulation of the North Brazil Current is studied with three numerical ocean circulation models, which differ by the vertical coordinate used to formulate the primitive equations. The models are driven with the same surface boundary conditions and their horizontal grid-resolution (isotropic, 1/3° at the equator) is in principle fine enough to permit the generation of mesoscale eddies. Our analysis of the mean seasonal currents concludes that the volume transport of the North Brazil Current (NBC) at the equator is principally determined by the strength of the meridional overturning, and suggests that the return path of the global thermohaline circulation is concentrated in the NBC. Models which simulate a realistic overturning at 24°N of the order of 16–18 Sv also simulate a realistic NBC transport of nearly 35 Sv comparable to estimates deduced from the most recent observations. In all models, the major part of this inflow of warm waters from the South Atlantic recirculates in the zonal equatorial current system, but the models also agree on the existence of a permanent coastal mean flow to the north-west, from the equator into the Carribean Sea, in the form of a continuous current or a succession of eddies. Important differences are found between models in their representation of the eddy field. The reasons invoked are the use of different subgrid-scale parameterisations, and differences in stability of the NBC retroflection loop because of differences in the representation of the effect of bottom friction according to the vertical coordinate that is used. Finally, even if differences noticed between models in the details of the seasonal mean circulation and water mass properties could be explained by differences in the eddy field, nonetheless the major characteristics (mean seasonal currents, volume and heat transports) appears to be at first order driven by the strength of the thermohaline circulation.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 6
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    Elsevier
    In:  Progress in Oceanography, 48 (2-3). pp. 289-312.
    Publication Date: 2016-10-07
    Description: Seasonal changes in eddy energy are used to investigate the role of high-frequency wind forcing in generating eddy kinetic energy in the oceans. To this end, we analyze two experiments of an eddy-permitting model of the North Atlantic driven by daily and monthly mean wind stress fields, and compare results with corresponding changes in the variance of the wind fields, and related results from previous studies using altimeter and current meter data. With daily wind-stress forcing the model is found to be in general agreement with altimetric observations and reveal a complex pattern of temporal changes in variability over the North Atlantic. Observations and the model indicate enhanced levels of eddy energy during winter months over several areas of the northern and, particularly northeastern North Atlantic. Since the wind-generated variability is primarily barotropic, its signal can be detected mostly in the low-energy regions of the northern and north-eastern North Atlantic, which are remote from baroclinically unstable currents. There the winter-to-summer difference in simulated eddy kinetic energy caused by the variable wind forcing is 〈0.5 cm2 s2 between 30° and 55°N, and is 1–3 cm2 s2 north of 55°N. Seasonal changes in kinetic energy are insignificant along the path of the North Atlantic current and south of about 30°N. The weak depth dependence of the seasonal changes in eddy energy implies that the relative importance of wind-generated eddy energy is maximum at depth where the general (baroclinic) variability level is low. Accordingly, a significant correlation is found between the seasonal cycle in the variance of wind stress and the seasonal cycle in eddy energy over a substantially wider area than near the surface, notably across the entire eastern North Atlantic between the North Atlantic Current and the North Equatorial Current.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-02-13
    Description: This paper presents some research developments in primitive equation ocean models which could impact the ocean component of realistic global coupled climate models aimed at large-scale, low frequency climate simulations and predictions. It is written primarily to an audience of modellers concerned with the ocean component of climate models, although not necessarily experts in the design and implementation of ocean model algorithms.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-04-11
    Description: This study focuses on an important aspect of air–sea interaction in models, namely, large-scale, spurious heat fluxes due to false pathways of the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Current (NAC) in the “storm formation region” south and east of Newfoundland. Although high-resolution eddy-resolving models show some improvement in this respect, results are sensitive to poorly understood, subgrid-scale processes for which there is currently no complete, physically based parameterization. A simple method to correct an ocean general circulation model (OGCM), acting as a practical substitute for a physically based parameterization, is explored: the recently proposed “semiprognostic method,” a technique for adiabatically adjusting flow properties of a hydrostatic OGCM. The authors show that application of the method to an eddy-permitting model of the North Atlantic Ocean yields more realistic flow patterns and watermass characteristics in the Gulf Stream and NAC regions; in particular, spurious surface heat fluxes are reduced. Four simple modifications to the method are proposed, and their benefits are demonstrated. The modifications successfully account for three drawbacks of the original method: reduced geostrophic wave speeds, damped mesoscale eddy activity, and spurious interaction with topography. It is argued that use of a corrected (eddy permitting) OGCM in a coupled modeling system for simulating present climate (as now becomes possible because of increasing computer power) should lead to a more realistic simulation in regions of strong air–sea interaction as compared with that obtained with an uncorrected model. The method is also well suited for the simulation of the uptake and transport of passive tracers, such as anthropogenic carbon dioxide or components of ecosystem models.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2015-11-09
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2016-10-07
    Description: A systematic intercomparison of three realistic eddy-permitting models of the North Atlantic circulation has been performed. The models use different concepts for the discretization of the vertical coordinate, namely geopotential levels, isopycnal layers, terrain-following (sigma) coordinates, respectively. Although these models were integrated under nearly identical conditions, the resulting large-scale model circulations show substantial differences. The results demonstrate that the large-scale thermohaline circulation is very sensitive to the model representation of certain localised processes, in particular to the amount and water mass properties of the overflow across the Greenland–Scotland region, to the amount of mixing within a few hundred kilometers south of the sills, and to several other processes at small or sub-grid scales. The different behaviour of the three models can to a large extent be explained as a consequence of the different model representation of these processes.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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