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Title: Preconditioning of the Weddell Sea Polynya by the Ocean Mesoscale and Dense Water Overflows

Abstract

The Weddell Sea polynya is a large opening in the open-ocean sea ice cover associated with intense deep convection in the ocean. A necessary condition to form and maintain a polynya is the presence of a strong subsurface heat reservoir. This study investigates the processes that control the stratification and hence the buildup of the subsurface heat reservoir in the Weddell Sea. To do so, a climate model run for 200 years under preindustrial forcing with two eddying resolutions in the ocean (0.25° CM2.5 and 0.10° CM2.6) is investigated. Over the course of the simulation, CM2.6 develops two polynyas in the Weddell Sea, while CM2.5 exhibits quasi-continuous deep convection but no polynyas, exemplifying that deep convection is not a sufficient condition for a polynya to occur. CM2.5 features a weaker subsurface heat reservoir than CM2.6 owing to weak stratification associated with episodes of gravitational instability and enhanced vertical mixing of heat, resulting in an erosion of the reservoir. In contrast, in CM2.6, the water column is more stably stratified, allowing the subsurface heat reservoir to build up. The enhanced stratification in CM2.6 arises from its refined horizontal grid spacing and resolution of topography, which allows, in particular, a better representationmore » of the restratifying effect by transient mesoscale eddies and of the overflows of dense waters along the continental slope.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [3]
  1. Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  2. Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, Research School for Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
  3. NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey
  4. Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany
  5. Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Princeton Univ., NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1377697
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1541834
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012457
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Climate
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Climate Journal Volume: 30 Journal Issue: 19; Journal ID: ISSN 0894-8755
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences

Citation Formats

Dufour, Carolina O., Morrison, Adele K., Griffies, Stephen M., Frenger, Ivy, Zanowski, Hannah, and Winton, Michael. Preconditioning of the Weddell Sea Polynya by the Ocean Mesoscale and Dense Water Overflows. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0586.1.
Dufour, Carolina O., Morrison, Adele K., Griffies, Stephen M., Frenger, Ivy, Zanowski, Hannah, & Winton, Michael. Preconditioning of the Weddell Sea Polynya by the Ocean Mesoscale and Dense Water Overflows. United States. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0586.1.
Dufour, Carolina O., Morrison, Adele K., Griffies, Stephen M., Frenger, Ivy, Zanowski, Hannah, and Winton, Michael. Sun . "Preconditioning of the Weddell Sea Polynya by the Ocean Mesoscale and Dense Water Overflows". United States. doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0586.1.
@article{osti_1377697,
title = {Preconditioning of the Weddell Sea Polynya by the Ocean Mesoscale and Dense Water Overflows},
author = {Dufour, Carolina O. and Morrison, Adele K. and Griffies, Stephen M. and Frenger, Ivy and Zanowski, Hannah and Winton, Michael},
abstractNote = {The Weddell Sea polynya is a large opening in the open-ocean sea ice cover associated with intense deep convection in the ocean. A necessary condition to form and maintain a polynya is the presence of a strong subsurface heat reservoir. This study investigates the processes that control the stratification and hence the buildup of the subsurface heat reservoir in the Weddell Sea. To do so, a climate model run for 200 years under preindustrial forcing with two eddying resolutions in the ocean (0.25° CM2.5 and 0.10° CM2.6) is investigated. Over the course of the simulation, CM2.6 develops two polynyas in the Weddell Sea, while CM2.5 exhibits quasi-continuous deep convection but no polynyas, exemplifying that deep convection is not a sufficient condition for a polynya to occur. CM2.5 features a weaker subsurface heat reservoir than CM2.6 owing to weak stratification associated with episodes of gravitational instability and enhanced vertical mixing of heat, resulting in an erosion of the reservoir. In contrast, in CM2.6, the water column is more stably stratified, allowing the subsurface heat reservoir to build up. The enhanced stratification in CM2.6 arises from its refined horizontal grid spacing and resolution of topography, which allows, in particular, a better representation of the restratifying effect by transient mesoscale eddies and of the overflows of dense waters along the continental slope.},
doi = {10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0586.1},
journal = {Journal of Climate},
number = 19,
volume = 30,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0586.1

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 10 works
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Works referencing / citing this record:

The Weddell Gyre, Southern Ocean: Present Knowledge and Future Challenges
journal, July 2019

  • Vernet, M.; Geibert, W.; Hoppema, M.
  • Reviews of Geophysics, Vol. 57, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018rg000604

Antarctic offshore polynyas linked to Southern Hemisphere climate anomalies
journal, June 2019


The GFDL Global Ocean and Sea Ice Model OM4.0: Model Description and Simulation Features
journal, October 2019

  • Adcroft, Alistair; Anderson, Whit; Balaji, V.
  • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 11, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1029/2019ms001726

Structure and Performance of GFDL's CM4.0 Climate Model
journal, November 2019

  • Held, I. M.; Guo, H.; Adcroft, A.
  • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 11, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1029/2019ms001829

Copernicus Marine Service Ocean State Report, Issue 3
journal, June 2019

  • von Schuckmann, Karina; Le Traon, Pierre-Yves; Smith, Neville
  • Journal of Operational Oceanography, Vol. 12, Issue sup1
  • DOI: 10.1080/1755876x.2019.1633075

Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM1.2) for the High-Resolution Model Intercomparison Project (HighResMIP)
journal, January 2019

  • Gutjahr, Oliver; Putrasahan, Dian; Lohmann, Katja
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 12, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-12-3241-2019

The Weddell Gyre, Southern Ocean: Present Knowledge and Future Challenges
journal, July 2019

  • Vernet, M.; Geibert, W.; Hoppema, M.
  • Reviews of Geophysics, Vol. 57, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1029/2018rg000604

The GFDL Global Ocean and Sea Ice Model OM4.0: Model Description and Simulation Features
journal, October 2019

  • Adcroft, Alistair; Anderson, Whit; Balaji, V.
  • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 11, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1029/2019ms001726

Structure and Performance of GFDL's CM4.0 Climate Model
journal, November 2019

  • Held, I. M.; Guo, H.; Adcroft, A.
  • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 11, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1029/2019ms001829

Antarctic offshore polynyas linked to Southern Hemisphere climate anomalies
journal, June 2019


Copernicus Marine Service Ocean State Report, Issue 3
journal, June 2019

  • von Schuckmann, Karina; Le Traon, Pierre-Yves; Smith, Neville
  • Journal of Operational Oceanography, Vol. 12, Issue sup1
  • DOI: 10.1080/1755876x.2019.1633075

Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM1.2) for the High-Resolution Model Intercomparison Project (HighResMIP)
journal, January 2019

  • Gutjahr, Oliver; Putrasahan, Dian; Lohmann, Katja
  • Geoscientific Model Development, Vol. 12, Issue 7
  • DOI: 10.5194/gmd-12-3241-2019