Drake Henri F.

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Henri F.

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  • Article
    Abyssal circulation driven by near-boundary mixing: water mass transformations and interior stratification
    (American Meteorological Society, 2020-07-24) Drake, Henri F. ; Ferrari, Raffaele ; Callies, Joern
    The emerging view of the abyssal circulation is that it is associated with bottom-enhanced mixing, which results in downwelling in the stratified ocean interior and upwelling in a bottom boundary layer along the insulating and sloping seafloor. In the limit of slowly varying vertical stratification and topography, however, boundary layer theory predicts that these upslope and downslope flows largely compensate, such that net water mass transformations along the slope are vanishingly small. Using a planetary geostrophic circulation model that resolves both the boundary layer dynamics and the large-scale overturning in an idealized basin with bottom-enhanced mixing along a midocean ridge, we show that vertical variations in stratification become sufficiently large at equilibrium to reduce the degree of compensation along the midocean ridge flanks. The resulting large net transformations are similar to estimates for the abyssal ocean and span the vertical extent of the ridge. These results suggest that boundary flows generated by mixing play a crucial role in setting the global ocean stratification and overturning circulation, requiring a revision of abyssal ocean theories.
  • Article
    Author Correction : Spiraling pathways of global deep waters to the surface of the Southern Ocean
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2018-01-15) Tamsitt, Veronica ; Drake, Henri F. ; Morrison, Adele K. ; Talley, Lynne D. ; Dufour, Carolina O. ; Gray, Alison R. ; Griffies, Stephen M. ; Mazloff, Matthew R. ; Sarmiento, Jorge L. ; Wang, Jinbo ; Weijer, Wilbert
    Correction to: Nature Communications 8:172 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-00197-0; Article published online: 2 August 2017
  • Article
    Lagrangian timescales of Southern Ocean upwelling in a hierarchy of model resolutions
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2018-01-31) Drake, Henri F. ; Morrison, Adele K. ; Griffies, Stephen M. ; Sarmiento, Jorge L. ; Weijer, Wilbert ; Gray, Alison R.
    In this paper we study upwelling pathways and timescales of Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) in a hierarchy of models using a Lagrangian particle tracking method. Lagrangian timescales of CDW upwelling decrease from 87 years to 31 years to 17 years as the ocean resolution is refined from 1° to 0.25° to 0.1°. We attribute some of the differences in timescale to the strength of the eddy fields, as demonstrated by temporally degrading high-resolution model velocity fields. Consistent with the timescale dependence, we find that an average Lagrangian particle completes 3.2 circumpolar loops in the 1° model in comparison to 0.9 loops in the 0.1° model. These differences suggest that advective timescales and thus interbasin merging of upwelling CDW may be overestimated by coarse-resolution models, potentially affecting the skill of centennial scale climate change projections.
  • Article
    Diapycnal displacement, diffusion, and distortion of tracers in the ocean
    (American Meteorological Society, 2022-11-18) Drake, Henri F. ; Ruan, Xiaozhou ; Ferrari, Raffaele
    Small-scale mixing drives the diabatic upwelling that closes the abyssal ocean overturning circulation. Indirect microstructure measurements of in situ turbulence suggest that mixing is bottom enhanced over rough topography, implying downwelling in the interior and stronger upwelling in a sloping bottom boundary layer. Tracer release experiments (TREs), in which inert tracers are purposefully released and their dispersion is surveyed over time, have been used to independently infer turbulent diffusivities—but typically provide estimates in excess of microstructure ones. In an attempt to reconcile these differences, Ruan and Ferrari derived exact tracer-weighted buoyancy moment diagnostics, which we here apply to quasi-realistic simulations. A tracer’s diapycnal displacement rate is exactly twice the tracer-averaged buoyancy velocity, itself a convolution of an asymmetric upwelling/downwelling dipole. The tracer’s diapycnal spreading rate, however, involves both the expected positive contribution from the tracer-averaged in situ diffusion as well as an additional nonlinear diapycnal distortion term, which is caused by correlations between buoyancy and the buoyancy velocity, and can be of either sign. Distortion is generally positive (stretching) due to bottom-enhanced mixing in the stratified interior but negative (contraction) near the bottom. Our simulations suggest that these two effects coincidentally cancel for the Brazil Basin Tracer Release Experiment, resulting in negligible net distortion. By contrast, near-bottom tracers experience leading-order distortion that varies in time. Errors in tracer moments due to realistically sparse sampling are generally small (<20%), especially compared to the O(1) structural errors due to the omission of distortion effects in inverse models. These results suggest that TREs, although indispensable, should not be treated as “unambiguous” constraints on diapycnal mixing.
  • Article
    A simple model for assessing climate control trade-offs and responding to unanticipated climate outcomes
    (IOP Publishing, 2021-09-21) Drake, Henri F. ; Rivest, Ronald L. ; Edelman, Alan ; Deutch, John
    Persistent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions threaten global climate goals and have prompted consideration of climate controls supplementary to emissions mitigation. We present MARGO, an idealized model of optimally-controlled climate change, which is complementary to both simpler conceptual models and more complicated Integrated Assessment Models. The four methods of controlling climate damage—mitigation, carbon dioxide removal (CDR), adaptation, and solar radiation modification (SRM)—are not interchangeable, as they enter at different stages of the causal chain that connects GHG emissions to climate damages. Early and aggressive mitigation is necessary to stabilize GHG concentrations below a tolerable level. While the most cost-beneficial and cost-effective pathways to reducing climate suffering include deployments of all four controls, the quantitative trade-offs between the different controls are sensitive to value-driven parameters and poorly-known future costs and damages. Static policy optimization assumes perfect foresight and obscures the active role decision-makers have in shaping a climate trajectory. We propose an explicit policy response process wherein climate control policies are re-adjusted over time in response to unanticipated outcomes. We illustrate this process in two 'storyline' scenarios: (a) near-term increases in mitigation and CDR are deficient, such that climate goals are expected to slip out of reach; (b) SRM is abruptly terminated after 40 years of successful deployment, causing an extremely rapid warming which is amplified by an excess of GHGs due to deterred mitigation. In both cases, an optimized policy response yields substantial benefits relative to continuing the original policy. The MARGO model is intentionally designed to be as simple, transparent, customizable, and accessible as possible, addressing concerns about previous climate-economic modelling approaches and enabling a more diverse set of stakeholders to engage with these essential and timely topics.
  • Article
    Dynamics of eddying abyssal mixing layers over sloping rough topography
    (American Meteorological Society, 2022-11-18) Drake, Henri F. ; Ruan, Xiaozhou ; Callies, Joern ; Ogden, Kelly A. ; Thurnherr, Andreas M. ; Ferrari, Raffaele
    The abyssal overturning circulation is thought to be primarily driven by small-scale turbulent mixing. Diagnosed water-mass transformations are dominated by rough topography “hotspots,” where the bottom enhancement of mixing causes the diffusive buoyancy flux to diverge, driving widespread downwelling in the interior—only to be overwhelmed by an even stronger upwelling in a thin bottom boundary layer (BBL). These water-mass transformations are significantly underestimated by one-dimensional (1D) sloping boundary layer solutions, suggesting the importance of three-dimensional physics. Here, we use a hierarchy of models to generalize this 1D boundary layer approach to three-dimensional eddying flows over realistically rough topography. When applied to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the Brazil Basin, the idealized simulation results are roughly consistent with available observations. Integral buoyancy budgets isolate the physical processes that contribute to realistically strong BBL upwelling. The downward diffusion of buoyancy is primarily balanced by upwelling along the sloping canyon sidewalls and the surrounding abyssal hills. These flows are strengthened by the restratifying effects of submesoscale baroclinic eddies and by the blocking of along-ridge thermal wind within the canyon. Major topographic sills block along-thalweg flows from restratifying the canyon trough, resulting in the continual erosion of the trough’s stratification. We propose simple modifications to the 1D boundary layer model that approximate each of these three-dimensional effects. These results provide local dynamical insights into mixing-driven abyssal overturning, but a complete theory will also require the nonlocal coupling to the basin-scale circulation.
  • Article
    Evaluating the performance of past climate model projections
    (American Geophysical Union, 2019-12-04) Hausfather, Zeke ; Drake, Henri F. ; Abbott, Tristan ; Schmidt, Gavin A.
    Retrospectively comparing future model projections to observations provides a robust and independent test of model skill. Here we analyze the performance of climate models published between 1970 and 2007 in projecting future global mean surface temperature (GMST) changes. Models are compared to observations based on both the change in GMST over time and the change in GMST over the change in external forcing. The latter approach accounts for mismatches in model forcings, a potential source of error in model projections independent of the accuracy of model physics. We find that climate models published over the past five decades were skillful in predicting subsequent GMST changes, with most models examined showing warming consistent with observations, particularly when mismatches between model‐projected and observationally estimated forcings were taken into account.
  • Article
    Spiraling pathways of global deep waters to the surface of the Southern Ocean
    (Nature Publishing Group, 2017-08-02) Tamsitt, Veronica ; Drake, Henri F. ; Morrison, Adele K. ; Talley, Lynne D. ; Dufour, Carolina O. ; Gray, Alison R. ; Griffies, Stephen M. ; Mazloff, Matthew R. ; Sarmiento, Jorge L. ; Wang, Jinbo ; Weijer, Wilbert
    Upwelling of global deep waters to the sea surface in the Southern Ocean closes the global overturning circulation and is fundamentally important for oceanic uptake of carbon and heat, nutrient resupply for sustaining oceanic biological production, and the melt rate of ice shelves. However, the exact pathways and role of topography in Southern Ocean upwelling remain largely unknown. Here we show detailed upwelling pathways in three dimensions, using hydrographic observations and particle tracking in high-resolution models. The analysis reveals that the northern-sourced deep waters enter the Antarctic Circumpolar Current via southward flow along the boundaries of the three ocean basins, before spiraling southeastward and upward through the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Upwelling is greatly enhanced at five major topographic features, associated with vigorous mesoscale eddy activity. Deep water reaches the upper ocean predominantly south of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, with a spatially nonuniform distribution. The timescale for half of the deep water to upwell from 30° S to the mixed layer is ~60–90 years.
  • Article
    Lagrangian ocean analysis : fundamentals and practices
    (Elsevier, 2017-11-24) van Sebille, Erik ; Griffies, Stephen M. ; Abernathey, Ryan ; Adams, Thomas P. ; Berloff, Pavel S. ; Biastoch, Arne ; Blanke, Bruno ; Chassignet, Eric P. ; Cheng, Yu ; Cotter, Colin J. ; Deleersnijder, Eric ; Döös, Kristofer ; Drake, Henri F. ; Drijfhout, Sybren ; Gary, Stefan F. ; Heemink, Arnold W. ; Kjellsson, Joakim ; Koszalka, Inga M. ; Lange, Michael ; Lique, Camille ; MacGilchrist, Graeme ; Marsh, Robert ; Mayorga-Adame, Claudia G. ; McAdam, Ronan ; Nencioli, Francesco ; Paris, Claire B. ; Piggott, Matthew D. ; Polton, Jeff ; Rühs, Siren ; Shah, Syed H.A.M. ; Thomas, Matthew D. ; Wang, Jinbo ; Wolfram, Phillip J. ; Zanna, Laure ; Zika, Jan D.
    Lagrangian analysis is a powerful way to analyse the output of ocean circulation models and other ocean velocity data such as from altimetry. In the Lagrangian approach, large sets of virtual particles are integrated within the three-dimensional, time-evolving velocity fields. Over several decades, a variety of tools and methods for this purpose have emerged. Here, we review the state of the art in the field of Lagrangian analysis of ocean velocity data, starting from a fundamental kinematic framework and with a focus on large-scale open ocean applications. Beyond the use of explicit velocity fields, we consider the influence of unresolved physics and dynamics on particle trajectories. We comprehensively list and discuss the tools currently available for tracking virtual particles. We then showcase some of the innovative applications of trajectory data, and conclude with some open questions and an outlook. The overall goal of this review paper is to reconcile some of the different techniques and methods in Lagrangian ocean analysis, while recognising the rich diversity of codes that have and continue to emerge, and the challenges of the coming age of petascale computing.
  • Article
    The influence of ocean topography on the upwelling of carbon in the Southern Ocean
    (American Geophysical Union, 2021-09-27) Brady, Riley X. ; Maltrud, Mathew E. ; Wolfram, Phillip J. ; Drake, Henri F. ; Lovenduski, Nicole S.
    The physical circulation of the Southern Ocean sets the surface concentration and thus air-sea exchange of CO2. However, we have a limited understanding of the three-dimensional circulation that brings deep carbon-rich waters to the surface. Here, we introduce and analyze a novel high-resolution ocean model simulation with active biogeochemistry and online Lagrangian particle tracking. We focus our attention on a subset of particles with high dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) that originate below 1,000 m and eventually upwell into the near-surface layer (upper 200 m). We find that 71% of the DIC-enriched water upwelling across 1,000 m is concentrated near topographic features, which occupy just 33% of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Once particles upwell to the near-surface layer, they exhibit relatively uniform pCO2 levels and DIC decorrelation timescales, regardless of their origin. Our results show that Southern Ocean bathymetry plays a key role in delivering carbon-rich waters to the surface.
  • Thesis
    Control of the abyssal ocean overturning circulation by mixing-driven bottom boundary layers
    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2021-09) Drake, Henri F.
    An emerging paradigm posits that the abyssal overturning circulation is driven by bottom-enhanced mixing, which results in vigorous upwelling in the bottom boundary layer (BBL) along the sloping seafloor and downwelling in the stratified mixing layer (SML) above; their residual is the overturning circulation. This boundary-controlled circulation fundamentally alters abyssal tracer distributions, with implications for global climate. Chapter 1 describes how a basin-scale overturning circulation arises from the coupling between the ocean interior and mixing-driven boundary layers over rough topography, such as the sloping flanks of mid-ocean ridges. BBL upwelling is well predicted by boundary layer theory, whereas the compensation by SML downwelling is weakened by the upward increase of the basin-wide stratification, which supports a finite net overturning. These simulated watermass transformations are comparable to best-estimate diagnostics but are sustained by a crude parameterization of boundary layer restratification processes. In Chapter 2, I run a realistic simulation of a fracture zone canyon in the Brazil Basin to decipher the non-linear dynamics of abyssal mixing layers and their interactions with rough topography. Using a hierarchy of progressively idealized simulations, I identify three physical processes that set the stratification of abyssal mixing layers (in addition to the weak buoyancy-driven cross-slope circulation): submesoscale baroclinic eddies on the ridge flanks, enhanced up-canyon flow due to inhibition of the cross-canyon thermal wind, and homogenization of canyon troughs below the level of blocking sills. Combined, these processes maintain a sufficiently large near-boundary stratification for mixing to drive globally significant BBL upwelling. In Chapter 3, simulated Tracer Release Experiments illustrate how passive tracers are mixed, stirred, and advected in abyssal mixing layers. Exact diagnostics reveal that while a tracer’s diapycnal motion is directly proportional to the mean divergence of mixing rates, its diapycnal spreading depends on both the mean mixing rate and an additional non-linear stretching term. These simulations suggest that the theorized boundary-layer control on the abyssal circulation is falsifiable: downwelling in the SML has already been confirmed by the Brazil Basin Tracer Release Experiment, while an upcoming experiment in the Rockall Trough will confirm or deny the existence of upwelling in the BBL.