Lagrangian timescales of Southern Ocean upwelling in a hierarchy of model resolutions
Drake, Henri F.
Morrison, Adele K.
Griffies, Stephen M.
Sarmiento, Jorge L.
Gray, Alison R.
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KeywordMeridional overturning circulation; Southern Ocean; Circumpolar Deep Water; Upwelling; Eddy parameterization; Ocean modeling
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.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2018. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 45 (2018): 891–898, doi:10.1002/2017GL076045.
Suggested CitationGeophysical Research Letters 45 (2018): 891–898
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