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Circulation of the Pacific Ocean seen in a global ocean model (OCCAM) Peter M. Saunders, Andrew C. Coward, and Beverly A. de Cuevas
 

Summary: 1
Circulation of the Pacific Ocean seen in a global ocean model (OCCAM)
Peter M. Saunders, Andrew C. Coward, and Beverly A. de Cuevas
Southampton Oceanography Centre, Southampton, England, United Kingdom.
To be published JGR Oceans 1999 Copyright AGU
Abstract. This paper compares observations made in the Pacific Ocean and the 8-12 year clima-
tology of a global numerical model. Meridional mass and heat transports and their divergences
are calculated, and zonal averages compared with the air-sea exchange values of Doney et al.
[1998] with mixed success. The large scale distribution of sea surface height and near-surface
currents are shown to be well reproduced by the model, but their variance is underestimated,
severely so in areas of weak variability. Synoptic wind forcing enhances the latter, though only
slightly, while higher model resolution improves agreement in areas of strong variability. Model
mean transports in the East Australian Current, in the Vitiaz Strait and in the Kuroshio exceed
measurements by 10, 0, 18 Sv, respectively, and variability is underestimated by factors between 2
and 4. Near 1000 m and in strong currents the flow is overestimated, but over most of the ocean,
model output does not match either the magnitude or the spatial variability of the observations. In
contrast, the inflow of bottom water and its spreading path throughout both South and North
Pacific is well described. Good agreement is found with measured transport through the Samoan
Passage, but at 32S, east of the Tonga-Kermadec Ridge, the model yields only 60% of the ob-
served value. The Sverdrup balance is shown to hold widely in the model interior. Utilizing the

  

Source: Anderson, Tom - National Oceanography Centre Southampton

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology