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The North Atlantic subpolar circulation in an eddy-resolving global ocean model

The North Atlantic subpolar circulation in an eddy-resolving global ocean model
The North Atlantic subpolar circulation in an eddy-resolving global ocean model
The subpolar North Atlantic represents a key region for global climate, but most numerical models still have well-described limitations in correctly simulating the local circulation patterns. Here, we present the analysis of a 30-year run with a global eddy-resolving (1/12°) version of the NEMO ocean model. Compared to the 1° and 1/4° equivalent versions, this simulation more realistically represents the shape of the Subpolar Gyre, the position of the North Atlantic Current, and the Gulf Stream separation. Other key improvements are found in the representation of boundary currents, multi-year variability of temperature and depth of winter mixing in the Labrador Sea, and the transport of overflows at the Greenland–Scotland Ridge. However, the salinity, stratification and mean depth of winter mixing in the Labrador Sea, and the density and depth of overflow water south of the sill, still present challenges to the model. This simulation also provides further insight into the spatio-temporal development of the warming event observed in the Subpolar Gyre in the mid 1990s, which appears to coincide with a phase of increased eddy activity in the southernmost part of the gyre. This may have provided a gateway through which heat would have propagated into the gyre's interior.
Ocean modelling, Eddy-resolving, NEMO, North Atlantic, Subpolar gyre warming, Physical oceanography
0924-7963
126-143
Marzocchi, Alice
b755e4a1-8c30-4cfc-bcdf-848414c53311
Hirschi, Joël J.-M.
c8a45006-a6e3-4319-b5f5-648e8ef98906
Holliday, N. Penny
358b0b33-f30b-44fd-a193-88365bbf2c79
Cunningham, Stuart A.
07f1bd78-d92f-478b-a016-b92f530142c3
Blaker, Adam T.
94efe8b2-c744-4e90-87d7-db19ffa41200
Coward, Andrew C.
53b78140-2e65-476a-b287-e8384a65224b
Marzocchi, Alice
b755e4a1-8c30-4cfc-bcdf-848414c53311
Hirschi, Joël J.-M.
c8a45006-a6e3-4319-b5f5-648e8ef98906
Holliday, N. Penny
358b0b33-f30b-44fd-a193-88365bbf2c79
Cunningham, Stuart A.
07f1bd78-d92f-478b-a016-b92f530142c3
Blaker, Adam T.
94efe8b2-c744-4e90-87d7-db19ffa41200
Coward, Andrew C.
53b78140-2e65-476a-b287-e8384a65224b

Marzocchi, Alice, Hirschi, Joël J.-M., Holliday, N. Penny, Cunningham, Stuart A., Blaker, Adam T. and Coward, Andrew C. (2015) The North Atlantic subpolar circulation in an eddy-resolving global ocean model. Journal of Marine Systems, 142, 126-143. (doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2014.10.007).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The subpolar North Atlantic represents a key region for global climate, but most numerical models still have well-described limitations in correctly simulating the local circulation patterns. Here, we present the analysis of a 30-year run with a global eddy-resolving (1/12°) version of the NEMO ocean model. Compared to the 1° and 1/4° equivalent versions, this simulation more realistically represents the shape of the Subpolar Gyre, the position of the North Atlantic Current, and the Gulf Stream separation. Other key improvements are found in the representation of boundary currents, multi-year variability of temperature and depth of winter mixing in the Labrador Sea, and the transport of overflows at the Greenland–Scotland Ridge. However, the salinity, stratification and mean depth of winter mixing in the Labrador Sea, and the density and depth of overflow water south of the sill, still present challenges to the model. This simulation also provides further insight into the spatio-temporal development of the warming event observed in the Subpolar Gyre in the mid 1990s, which appears to coincide with a phase of increased eddy activity in the southernmost part of the gyre. This may have provided a gateway through which heat would have propagated into the gyre's interior.

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Published date: February 2015
Keywords: Ocean modelling, Eddy-resolving, NEMO, North Atlantic, Subpolar gyre warming, Physical oceanography
Organisations: Marine Systems Modelling, Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 371831
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/371831
ISSN: 0924-7963
PURE UUID: 48b34e18-9a35-4976-a442-fcfb99eaf8f3

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Date deposited: 17 Nov 2014 13:09
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 07:26

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Contributors

Author: Alice Marzocchi
Author: Joël J.-M. Hirschi
Author: N. Penny Holliday
Author: Stuart A. Cunningham
Author: Adam T. Blaker
Author: Andrew C. Coward

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