On the warm bias along the South-West African Coast in coupled models : an oceanic perspective
MetadataShow full item record
LocationSouth-West African Coast
Coupled ocean/atmosphere simulations exhibit systematicwarm biases over the SouthWest African (SWA) coastal region. Recent investigations indicate that coastal ocean dynamics may play an important role in determining the SST patterns, but none of them provide a detailed analysis. In this study, I analyze simulations produced both by coupled models and by idealized models. Then results are interpreted on the basis of a theoretical framework. Finally the conclusion is reached that the insufficient resolution of the ocean component in the coupled model is responsible for the warm biases over the SWA coastal region. The coarse resolution used in the ocean model has an artificially stretched coastal side-wall boundary layer, which induces a smaller upwelling velocity in the boundary layer. The vertical heat transport decreases even when the volume transport is unchanged because of its nonlinear relationship with the magnitude of the upwelling velocity. Based on the scaling of the idealized model simulations, a simplified calculation shows that the vertical heat transport is inversely proportional to the zonal resolution over the coastal region. Therefore, increasing the horizontal resolution can considerably improve the coastal SST simulation, and better resolve the coastal dynamics.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution September 2008
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Understanding the ocean carbon and sulfur cycles in the context of a variable ocean : a study of anthropogenic carbon storage and dimethylsulfide production in the Atlantic Ocean Levine, Naomi M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2010-02)Anthropogenic activity is rapidly changing the global climate through the emission of carbon dioxide. Ocean carbon and sulfur cycles have the potential to impact global climate directly and through feedback loops. Numerical ...
Silverthorne, Katherine E. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2010-06)Observational and modeling techniques are employed to investigate the thermal and inertial upper ocean response to wind and buoyancy forcing in the North Atlantic Ocean. First, the seasonal kinetic energy variability of ...
Oceanic lithosphere magnetization : marine magnetic investigations of crustal accretion and tectonic processes in mid-ocean ridge environments Williams, Clare M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2007-09)The origin of symmetric alternating magnetic polarity stripes on the seafloor is investigated in two marine environments; along the ridge axis of the fast spreading East Pacific Rise (EPR) (9º 25’-9º 55’N) and at Kane ...