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  • 1
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    Copernicus Publications (EGU)
    In:  Geoscientific Model Development, 8 (1). pp. 51-68.
    Publication Date: 2017-12-19
    Description: Large-scale fully coupled Earth system models (ESMs) are usually applied in climate projections like the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) reports. In these models internal variability is often within the correct order of magnitude compared with the observed climate, but due to internal variability and arbitrary initial conditions they are not able to reproduce the observed timing of climate events or shifts as for instance observed in the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), or the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Additional information about the real climate history is necessary to constrain ESMs; not only to emulate the past climate, but also to introduce a potential forecast skill into these models through a proper initialisation. We attempt to do this by extending the fully coupled climate model Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM) using a partial coupling technique (Modini-MPI-ESM). This method is implemented by adding reanalysis wind-field anomalies to the MPI-ESM's inherent climatological wind field when computing the surface wind stress that is used to drive the ocean and sea ice model. Using anomalies instead of the full wind field reduces potential model drifts, because of different mean climate states of the unconstrained MPI-ESM and the partially coupled Modini-MPI-ESM, that could arise if total observed wind stress was used. We apply two different reanalysis wind products (National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (NCEPcsfr) and ERA-Interim reanalysis (ERAI)) and analyse the skill of Modini-MPI-ESM with respect to several observed oceanic, atmospheric, and sea ice indices. We demonstrate that Modini-MPI-ESM has a significant skill over the time period 1980–2013 in reproducing historical climate fluctuations, indicating the potential of the method for initialising seasonal to decadal forecasts. Additionally, our comparison of the results achieved with the two reanalysis wind products NCEPcsfr and ERAI indicates that in general applying NCEPcsfr results in a better reconstruction of climate variability since 1980.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2017-04-13
    Description: Ocean observations carried out in the framework of the Collaborative Research Center 754 (SFB 754) "Climate-Biogeochemistry Interactions in the Tropical Ocean" are used to study (1) the structure of tropical oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), (2) the processes that contribute to the oxygen budget, and (3) long-term changes in the oxygen distribution. The OMZ of the eastern tropical North Atlantic (ETNA), located between the well-ventilated subtropical gyre and the equatorial oxygen maximum, is composed of a deep OMZ at about 400 m depth with its core region centred at about 20° W, 10° N and a shallow OMZ at about 100 m depth with lowest oxygen concentrations in proximity to the coastal upwelling region off Mauritania and Senegal. The oxygen budget of the deep OMZ is given by oxygen consumption mainly balanced by the oxygen supply due to meridional eddy fluxes (about 60%) and vertical mixing (about 20%, locally up to 30%). Advection by zonal jets is crucial for the establishment of the equatorial oxygen maximum. In the latitude range of the deep OMZ, it dominates the oxygen supply in the upper 300 to 400 m and generates the intermediate oxygen maximum between deep and shallow OMZs. Water mass ages from transient tracers indicate substantially older water masses in the core of the deep OMZ (about 120–180 years) compared to regions north and south of it. The deoxygenation of the ETNA OMZ during recent decades suggests a substantial imbalance in the oxygen budget: about 10% of the oxygen consumption during that period was not balanced by ventilation. Long-term oxygen observations show variability on interannual, decadal and multidecadal time scales that can partly be attributed to circulation changes. In comparison to the ETNA OMZ the eastern tropical South Pacific OMZ shows a similar structure including an equatorial oxygen maximum driven by zonal advection, but overall much lower oxygen concentrations approaching zero in extended regions. As the shape of the OMZs is set by ocean circulation, the widespread misrepresentation of the intermediate circulation in ocean circulation models substantially contributes to their oxygen bias, which might have significant impacts on predictions of future oxygen levels.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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