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Title: Overturning Circulation in an Eddy-Resolving Model: The Effect of the Pole-to-Pole Temperature Gradient

Abstract

The result of the pole-to-pole surface temperature difference on the deep stratification and the strength of the global meridional overturning circulation (MOC) is examined in an eddy-resolving ocean model configured in an idealized domain roughly representing the Atlantic sector. Mesoscale eddies lead to qualitative differences in the mean stratification and the MOC compared to laminar (i.e., eddy free) models. For example, the spreading of fluid across the model’s representation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) no longer relies on the existence of a sill in the ACC. In addition, the deep- and bottom-water masses—roughly representing North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) and Antarctic Bottom Water (ABW), respectively—are eroded by the eddies so that their zonal and meridional extents are much smaller than in the laminar case. Predictions suggest that if the north pole temperature is sufficiently warm, the formation of northern deep water is suppressed and the middepth cell is small and weak while the deep cell is large and vigorous. In contrast, if the north pole temperature is in the range of the southern channel temperatures, the middepth cell is large and strong while the deep cell has a reduced amplitude. This result is consistent with the predictions of themore » laminar theory of the MOC. In contrast to the laminar theory, realistically strong deep stratification is formed even if the temperature at the northern sinking site is warmer than any temperature found in the channel. Indeed, middepth stratification is actually stronger in the latter case than the former case.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21). Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC)
OSTI Identifier:
1564670
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Physical Oceanography
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 39; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3670
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Eddies; Meridional overturning circulation; Mesoscale systems; Temperature; Stratification

Citation Formats

Wolfe, Christopher L., and Cessi, Paola. Overturning Circulation in an Eddy-Resolving Model: The Effect of the Pole-to-Pole Temperature Gradient. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.1175/2008jpo3991.1.
Wolfe, Christopher L., & Cessi, Paola. Overturning Circulation in an Eddy-Resolving Model: The Effect of the Pole-to-Pole Temperature Gradient. United States. doi:10.1175/2008jpo3991.1.
Wolfe, Christopher L., and Cessi, Paola. Thu . "Overturning Circulation in an Eddy-Resolving Model: The Effect of the Pole-to-Pole Temperature Gradient". United States. doi:10.1175/2008jpo3991.1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1564670.
@article{osti_1564670,
title = {Overturning Circulation in an Eddy-Resolving Model: The Effect of the Pole-to-Pole Temperature Gradient},
author = {Wolfe, Christopher L. and Cessi, Paola},
abstractNote = {The result of the pole-to-pole surface temperature difference on the deep stratification and the strength of the global meridional overturning circulation (MOC) is examined in an eddy-resolving ocean model configured in an idealized domain roughly representing the Atlantic sector. Mesoscale eddies lead to qualitative differences in the mean stratification and the MOC compared to laminar (i.e., eddy free) models. For example, the spreading of fluid across the model’s representation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) no longer relies on the existence of a sill in the ACC. In addition, the deep- and bottom-water masses—roughly representing North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) and Antarctic Bottom Water (ABW), respectively—are eroded by the eddies so that their zonal and meridional extents are much smaller than in the laminar case. Predictions suggest that if the north pole temperature is sufficiently warm, the formation of northern deep water is suppressed and the middepth cell is small and weak while the deep cell is large and vigorous. In contrast, if the north pole temperature is in the range of the southern channel temperatures, the middepth cell is large and strong while the deep cell has a reduced amplitude. This result is consistent with the predictions of the laminar theory of the MOC. In contrast to the laminar theory, realistically strong deep stratification is formed even if the temperature at the northern sinking site is warmer than any temperature found in the channel. Indeed, middepth stratification is actually stronger in the latter case than the former case.},
doi = {10.1175/2008jpo3991.1},
journal = {Journal of Physical Oceanography},
number = 1,
volume = 39,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {1}
}

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