Southern Ocean transformation in a coupled model with and without eddy mass fluxes

Speer, Kevin; Guilyard, Eric; Madec, Gurvan. 2000 Southern Ocean transformation in a coupled model with and without eddy mass fluxes. Tellus, 52A (5). 554-565.

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A coupled air–sea general circulation model is used to simulate the global circulation. Different parameterizations of lateral mixing in the ocean by eddies, horizontal, isopycnal, and isopycnal plus eddy advective flux, are compared from the perspective of water mass transformation in the Southern Ocean. The different mixing physics imply different buoyancy equilibria in the surface mixed layer, different transformations, and therefore a variety of meridional overturning streamfunctions. The coupled-model approach avoids strong artificial water mass transformation associated with relaxation to prescribed mixed layer conditions. Instead, transformation results from the more physical non-local, nonlinear interdependence of sea-surface temperature, air–sea fluxes, and circulation in the model’s atmosphere and ocean. The development of a stronger mid-depth circulation cell and associated upwelling when eddy fluxes are present, is examined. The strength of overturning is diagnosed in density coordinates using the transformation framework.

Item Type: Publication - Article
ISSN: 0280–6495
Date made live: 16 Jan 2009 +0 (UTC)

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