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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2014-05-26
    Description: We provide an assessment of sea level simulated in a suite of global ocean-sea ice models using the interannual CORE atmospheric state to determine surface ocean boundary buoyancy and momentum fluxes. These CORE-II simulations are compared amongst themselves as well as to observation-based estimates. We focus on the final 15 years of the simulations (1993–2007), as this is a period where the CORE-II atmospheric state is well sampled, and it allows us to compare sea level related fields to both satellite and in situ analyses. The ensemble mean of the CORE-II simulations broadly agree with various global and regional observation-based analyses during this period, though with the global mean thermosteric sea level rise biased low relative to observation-based analyses. The simulations reveal a positive trend in dynamic sea level in the west Pacific and negative trend in the east, with this trend arising from wind shifts and regional changes in upper 700 m ocean heat content. The models also exhibit a thermosteric sea level rise in the subpolar North Atlantic associated with a transition around 1995/1996 of the North Atlantic Oscillation to its negative phase, and the advection of warm subtropical waters into the subpolar gyre. Sea level trends are predominantly associated with steric trends, with thermosteric effects generally far larger than halosteric effects, except in the Arctic and North Atlantic. There is a general anti-correlation between thermosteric and halosteric effects for much of the World Ocean, associated with density compensated changes.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 2
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    Elsevier
    In:  Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 10 (1). pp. 63-92.
    Publication Date: 2018-01-24
    Description: In a series of numerical experiments the wind-driven ocean circulation is studied in an idealized, rectangular model ocean, which is forced by steady zonal winds and damped by lateral and/or bottom friction. The problem as described by the barotropic vorticity equation is characterized by a Rossby number (R) and horizontal and/or vertical Ekman numbers (EL, EB) only. With free-slip conditions at the boundaries steady solutions for all chosen values of R are obtained, provided the diffusivity is sufficiently large. For both the forms of frictional parameterization a northern boundary current emerges with an eastward penetration scale depending on R. The recirculation pattern in the oceanically relevant ‘intermediate’ range of R is strongly affected by the type of friction. If lateral diffusion dominates bottom friction, a strong recirculating sub-gyre emerges in the northwestern corner of the basin. Its shape resembles the vertically integrated transport fields in recent eddy resolving model (EGCM) studies. The maximum transport is increased to values several times larger than the Sverdrup transport. The increase in transport is coupled with a development of closed contours of potential vorticity, enabling a nearly free inertial flow. This behaviour provides a sharp contrast to the bottom friction case (Veronis) where inertial recirculation only takes place with values of R so large that the eastward jet reaches the eastern boundary. It is shown that the linear friction law puts a strong constraint on the flow by preventing an intense recirculation in a small part of the basin. A reduction of the diffusivity (EL) in the lateral friction case leads to quasi-steady solutions. The interaction with eddies becomes an integral part of the time mean energetics but does not influence the recirculation character of the flow. The main conclusion of the study is that the horizontal structure of the EGCM-transport fields can be explained in terms of a steady barotropic model where lateral friction represents the dominant dissipation mechanism
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Description: Highlights: • OGCM simulations of the AMOC are highly sensitive to the subarctic freshwater forcing. • Trends in the simulated AMOC are linked to the salinity of the DSOW. • DSOW salinity trends can be traced back to the freshwater transport by the NAC. • The NAC freshwater budget is highly affected by the salinity restoring used in OGCMs. • Modifications in the subarctic precipitation can help to minimize the restoring flux. Global ocean sea-ice models with an atmospheric forcing based on bulk formulations of the air-sea fluxes exhibit spurious trends in key flow indices like the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), constraining their use in investigations of multi-decadal ocean variability. To identify the critical model factors affecting the temporal evolution of the AMOC on time scales of up to 60 years, a series of experiments with both eddy-permitting (0.25°) and non-eddying (0.5°) ocean-ice models has been performed, focusing on the influence of artificial choices for the freshwater forcing, in particular the restoring of sea surface salinity towards climatological values. The atmospheric forcing builds on the proposal for Coordinated Ocean-ice Reference Experiments (CORE), utilizing the refined atmospheric reanalysis products for 1948–2006 compiled by Large and Yeager. Sensitivity experiments with small variations in precipitation (within the observational uncertainty) and sea surface salinity restoring in the subarctic Atlantic produce a wide range of AMOC transports, between upward drifts to more than 22 Sv and nearly-collapsed states with less than 7 Sv, reflecting the excessive role of the salinity feedback in such simulations. In all cases the AMOC is tightly related to the density of the Denmark Strait overflow; changes in that density are governed by the salinity in the Nordic Seas; and in turn, that salinity is strongly affected by the properties of the inflowing North Atlantic water.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Description: Highlights: • Global mean sea level simulated in interannual CORE simulations. • Regional sea level patterns simulated in interannual CORE simulations. • Theoretical foundation for analysis of global mean sea level and regional patterns. Abstract: We provide an assessment of sea level simulated in a suite of global ocean-sea ice models using the interannual CORE atmospheric state to determine surface ocean boundary buoyancy and momentum fluxes. These CORE-II simulations are compared amongst themselves as well as to observation-based estimates. We focus on the final 15 years of the simulations (1993–2007), as this is a period where the CORE-II atmospheric state is well sampled, and it allows us to compare sea level related fields to both satellite and in situ analyses. The ensemble mean of the CORE-II simulations broadly agree with various global and regional observation-based analyses during this period, though with the global mean thermosteric sea level rise biased low relative to observation-based analyses. The simulations reveal a positive trend in dynamic sea level in the west Pacific and negative trend in the east, with this trend arising from wind shifts and regional changes in upper 700 m ocean heat content. The models also exhibit a thermosteric sea level rise in the subpolar North Atlantic associated with a transition around 1995/1996 of the North Atlantic Oscillation to its negative phase, and the advection of warm subtropical waters into the subpolar gyre. Sea level trends are predominantly associated with steric trends, with thermosteric effects generally far larger than halosteric effects, except in the Arctic and North Atlantic. There is a general anti-correlation between thermosteric and halosteric effects for much of the World Ocean, associated with density compensated changes.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-09-23
    Description: Coordinated Ocean-ice Reference Experiments (COREs) are presented as a tool to explore the behaviour of global ocean-ice models under forcing from a common atmospheric dataset. We highlight issues arising when designing coupled global ocean and sea ice experiments, such as difficulties formulating a consistent forcing methodology and experimental protocol. Particular focus is given to the hydrological forcing, the details of which are key to realizing simulations with stable meridional overturning circulations. The atmospheric forcing from [Large, W., Yeager, S., 2004. Diurnal to decadal global forcing for ocean and sea-ice models: the data sets and flux climatologies. NCAR Technical Note: NCAR/TN-460+STR. CGD Division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research] was developed for coupled-ocean and sea ice models. We found it to be suitable for our purposes, even though its evaluation originally focussed more on the ocean than on the sea-ice. Simulations with this atmospheric forcing are presented from seven global ocean-ice models using the CORE-I design (repeating annual cycle of atmospheric forcing for 500 years). These simulations test the hypothesis that global ocean-ice models run under the same atmospheric state produce qualitatively similar simulations. The validity of this hypothesis is shown to depend on the chosen diagnostic. The CORE simulations provide feedback to the fidelity of the atmospheric forcing and model configuration, with identification of biases promoting avenues for forcing dataset and/or model development.
    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: 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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  • 9
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    Elsevier
    In:  Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 52 . pp. 221-240.
    Publication Date: 2016-11-01
    Description: The upper ocean large-scale circulation of the western tropical Atlantic from 11.5°S to the Caribbean in November and December 2000 is investigated from a new type of shipboard ADCP able to measure accurate velocities to 600 m depth, combined with lowered ADCP measurements. Satellite data and numerical model output complement the shipboard measurements to better describe the large-scale circulation. In November 2000 the North Brazil Undercurrent (NBUC) was strongly intensified between 11 and 5°S by inflow from the east, hence the NBUC was formed further to the north than in the mean. The NBUC was transporting 23.1 Sv northward at 5°S, slightly less than the mean of six cruises (Geophysical Research Letters (2002) 29 (7) 1840). At 35°W the North Brazil Current (NBC) transported 29.4 Sv westward, less than the mean of 13 cruises (Geophysical Research Letters (2003) 30 (7) 1349). A strong retroflection ring had just pinched off the NBC retroflection according to the satellite information. The inflow into the Caribbean south of 16.5°N originated in part of a leakage from the NBC retroflection zone and in part from the North Equatorial Current. A thermocline intensified ring with a transport of about 30 Sv was located off Guadeloupe carrying South Atlantic Central Water towards the north. Observed deviations of the November/December 2000 flow field from the November long-term mean flow field were related to an enhanced Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) associated with an increased North Equatorial Countercurrent (NECC), as well as to boundary current rings and Rossby waves with zonal wavelength of the order of 1000 km. At 44°W the presence of a Rossby wave associated with an anticyclonic circulation led to a strongly enhanced NBC of 65.0 Sv as well as to a combined NECC and Equatorial Undercurrent transport of 52.4 Sv, much stronger than during earlier cruises. While the 1/3°-FLAME model is unable to reproduce details of the vertical distribution of the observed horizontal flow at 44 °W for November 2000 as well as the horizontal distribution of some of the observed permanent current bands, a climatological simulation with the 1/12°-FLAME agrees much better with the observations and provides information on the spreading path between the sections. E.g., the interpretation that the widening in the Antarctic Intermediate Water layer of the westward flowing NBC at 44°W in November was caused by water from the Equatorial Intermediate Current was further supported by the model results
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 10
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    Elsevier
    In:  Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 52 (1). pp. 99-121.
    Publication Date: 2016-11-01
    Description: A suite of high-resolution models of the Atlantic Ocean circulation is used to study the deep seasonal current variability in the equatorial regime, with a particular emphasis on its manifestation in the variability of the interhemispheric transports near the western boundary. The basic experiment has a resolution of 1/3∘1/3∘ horizontally and 45 vertical levels, and is subject to a monthly mean atmospheric forcing based on ECMWF flux fields. Sensitivity experiments explore the effects of higher horizontal resolution (1/12∘1/12∘), and alternative mixing parameterizations. The model behavior near the equator confirms previous suggestions based on solutions of the WOCE Community Modelling Effort (“CME”) and the “DYNAMO” model intercomparison project, of the presence of a system of vigorous seasonal current oscillations, spanning the whole water column and nearly the whole zonal extent of the basin. The patterns of the primarily zonal current anomalies are fairly robust across the range of model cases investigated, i.e., show relatively little sensitivity to horizontal resolution/mixing, or to the different choices of vertical discretization and vertical mixing as in the DYNAMO cases. The amplitude of the seasonal variation exceeds 10 cm/s in the surface layer, and decreases to about 5 cm/s near 1000 m and 2–3 cm/s in the deep ocean in both the basic 1/3∘1/3∘- and the 1/12∘1/12∘-cases, thereby leading to seasonally reversing current signatures at all depths below the EUC. A particular aspect of the seasonal current variability concerns its manifestation in the southward transport of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) by the Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC). The temporal characteristics of the DWBC variability are in agreement with moored current meter observations at 44∘W44∘W, with simulated DWBC transports varying between a maximum of more than 30 Sv in January/February, and almost vanishing transport in September. However, in contrast to the annual-mean deep water transport which is confined to the DWBC and tight, O(100) km-recirculation cells, the seasonal cycle of transport is not trapped near the boundary: the simulations show that the zonal current variations of the equatorial wave guide, near the western boundary give rise to a broad system of seasonal recirculation cells of the DWBC. Calculations of the amplitude of the seasonal variability in the deep water transport near the equator are therefore strongly dependent of the spatial extent of the cross-section considered; in particular, for being approximately representative of low-frequency variations in the net, zonally-integrated meridional transport of deep water in the equatorial regime, transport sections would need to extend over nearly the whole western basin.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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