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Title: Collaborative project. Ocean-atmosphere interaction from meso- to planetary-scale. Mechanics, parameterization, and variability

Most climate models are currently run with grid spacings of around 100km, which, with today’s computing power, allows for long (up to 1000 year) simulations, or ensembles of simulations to explore climate change and variability. However this grid spacing does not resolve important components of the weather/climate system such as atmospheric fronts and mesoscale systems, and ocean boundary currents and eddies. The overall aim of this project has been to look at the effect of these small-scale features on the weather/climate system using a suite of high and low resolution climate models, idealized models and observations. High-resolution global coupled integrations using CAM/CESM were carried out at NCAR by the lead PI. At TAMU, we have complemented the work at NCAR by analyzing datasets from the high-resolution (28km) CESM integrations (Small et al., 2014) as well as very high resolution (9km, 3km) runs using a coupled regional climate (CRCM) carried out locally. The main tasks carried out were: 1. Analysis of surface wind in observations and high-resolution CAM/CCSM simulations 2. Development of a feature-tracking algorithm for studying midlatitude air-sea interaction by following oceanic mesoscale eddies and creating composites of the atmospheric response overlying the eddies. 3. Applying the Lagrangian analysis techniquemore » in the Gulf Stream region to compare data from observational reanalyses, global CESM coupled simulations, 9km regional coupled simulations and 3km convection-resolving regional coupled simulations. Our main findings are that oceanic mesoscale eddies influence not just the atmospheric boundary layer above them, but also the lower portions of the free troposphere above the boundary layer. Such a vertical response could have implications for a remote influence of Gulf Stream oceanic eddies on North Atlantic weather patterns through modulation of the storm track, similar to what has been noted in the North Pacific. The coarse resolution observational reanalyses perhaps underestimate the atmospheric response, but the 28km global model resolution appears to be adequate to capture some, but not all, aspects of the boundary response. The higher resolution regional models show a stronger response in certain fields such as the latent heat flux.« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
  2. National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES Air-sea interaction; ocean eddies; climate variability