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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: 2017-04-13
    Description: Highlights: • A joint analysis of deep current meter records in the western North Atlantic. • Intra-seasonal variability dominates the deep boundary current. • Topographic waves near 10d periods trapped over steep topography. • Basin centers are showing longer periods (50d) caused by the eddy field. • Observed variability characteristics compared to high resolution model simulation. Abstract The Deep Western Boundary Current (DWBC) along the western margin of the subpolar North Atlantic is an important component of the deep limb of the Meridional Overturning near its northern origins. A network of moored arrays from Denmark Strait to the tail of the Grand Banks has been installed for almost two decades to observe the boundary currents and transports of North Atlantic Deep Water as part of an internationally coordinated observatory for the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The dominant variability in all of the moored velocity time series is in the week-to-month period range. While the temporal characteristics of this variability change only gradually between Denmark Strait and Flemish Cap, a broad band of longer term variability is present farther along the path of the DWBC at the Grand Banks and in the interior basins (Labrador and Irminger Seas). The vigorous intra-seasonal variability may well mask possible interannual to decadal variability that is typically an order of magnitude smaller than the high-frequency fluctuations. Here, the intra-seasonal variability is quantified at key positions along the DWBC path using both, observations and high resolution model data. The results are used to evaluate the model circulation, and in turn the model is used to relate the discrete measurements to the overall pattern of the subpolar circulation. Topographic waves are found to be trapped by the steep topography all around the western basins, the Labrador and Irminger Seas. In the Labrador Sea, the high intra-seasonal variability of the boundary current regime is separated by a region of extremely low variability in narrow recirculation cells from the basin interior. There, the variability is also on intra-seasonal timescales, but at much longer periods around 50 days.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-02-25
    Description: Highlights: • Arctic sea ice extent and solid freshwater in 14 CORE-II models are inter-compared. • The models better represent the variability than the mean state. • The September ice extent trend is reasonably represented by the model ensemble mean. • The descending trend of ice thickness is underestimated compared to observations. • The models underestimate the reduction in solid freshwater content in recent years. Abstract: The Arctic Ocean simulated in fourteen global ocean-sea ice models in the framework of the Coordinated Ocean-ice Reference Experiments, phase II (CORE II) is analyzed. The focus is on the Arctic sea ice extent, the solid freshwater (FW) sources and solid freshwater content (FWC). Available observations are used for model evaluation. The variability of sea ice extent and solid FW budget is more consistently reproduced than their mean state in the models. The descending trend of September sea ice extent is well simulated in terms of the model ensemble mean. Models overestimating sea ice thickness tend to underestimate the descending trend of September sea ice extent. The models underestimate the observed sea ice thinning trend by a factor of two. When averaged on decadal time scales, the variation of Arctic solid FWC is contributed by those of both sea ice production and sea ice transport, which are out of phase in time. The solid FWC decreased in the recent decades, caused mainly by the reduction in sea ice thickness. The models did not simulate the acceleration of sea ice thickness decline, leading to an underestimation of solid FWC trend after 2000. The common model behavior, including the tendency to underestimate the trend of sea ice thickness and March sea ice extent, remains to be improved.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-02-25
    Description: Highlights: • Inter-annual to decadal variability in AMOC from CORE-II simulations is presented. • AMOC variability shows three stages, with maximum transports in mid- to late-1990s. • North Atlantic temporal variability features are in good agreement among simulations. • Such agreements suggest variability is dictated by the atmospheric data sets. • Simulations differ in spatial structures of variability due to ocean dynamics. Simulated inter-annual to decadal variability and trends in the North Atlantic for the 1958–2007 period from twenty global ocean – sea-ice coupled models are presented. These simulations are performed as contributions to the second phase of the Coordinated Ocean-ice Reference Experiments (CORE-II). The study is Part II of our companion paper (Danabasoglu et al., 2014) which documented the mean states in the North Atlantic from the same models. A major focus of the present study is the representation of Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) variability in the participating models. Relationships between AMOC variability and those of some other related variables, such as subpolar mixed layer depths, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Labrador Sea upper-ocean hydrographic properties, are also investigated. In general, AMOC variability shows three distinct stages. During the first stage that lasts until the mid- to late-1970s, AMOC is relatively steady, remaining lower than its long-term (1958–2007) mean. Thereafter, AMOC intensifies with maximum transports achieved in the mid- to late-1990s. This enhancement is then followed by a weakening trend until the end of our integration period. This sequence of low frequency AMOC variability is consistent with previous studies. Regarding strengthening of AMOC between about the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s, our results support a previously identified variability mechanism where AMOC intensification is connected to increased deep water formation in the subpolar North Atlantic, driven by NAO-related surface fluxes. The simulations tend to show general agreement in their temporal representations of, for example, AMOC, sea surface temperature (SST), and subpolar mixed layer depth variabilities. In particular, the observed variability of the North Atlantic SSTs is captured well by all models. These findings indicate that simulated variability and trends are primarily dictated by the atmospheric datasets which include the influence of ocean dynamics from nature superimposed onto anthropogenic effects. Despite these general agreements, there are many differences among the model solutions, particularly in the spatial structures of variability patterns. For example, the location of the maximum AMOC variability differs among the models between Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 6
    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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  • 7
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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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  • 8
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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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  • 9
    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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  • 10
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    Elsevier
    In:  Ocean Modelling, 74 . pp. 5-9.
    Publication Date: 2018-01-24
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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