TRR 181 Seminar "Parameterized and resolved Southern Ocean eddy compensation"

The TRR 181 seminar is held every two weeks in the semester and as announced during semester break. The locations of the seminar changes between the three TRR181 locations, but is broadcastet online for all members of the TRR.

 The TRR 181 seminar is held by Mads Poulsen on

Parameterized and resolved Southern Ocean eddy compensation

at Universität Hamburg on November 16 at 10 am, Bundesstr. 53, room 22/23 (ground floor). 


The ability to parameterize Southern Ocean eddy effects in a forced coarse resolution ocean general circulation model is assessed. The transient model response to a suite of different Southern Ocean wind stress forcing perturbations is presented and compared to identical experiments performed with the same model in 0.1 degree eddy-resolving resolution. With forcing of present-day wind stress magnitude and a thickness diffusivity formulated in terms of the local stratification, it is shown that the Southern Ocean residual meridional overturning circulation in the two models is different in structure and magnitude. It is found that the difference in the upper overturning cell is primarily explained by an overly strong subsurface flow in the parameterized eddy-induced circulation while the difference in the lower cell is mainly ascribed to the mean-flow overturning. With a zonally constant decrease of the zonal wind stress by 50% it is shown that the absolute decrease in the overturning circulation is insensitive to model resolution, and that the meridional isopycnal slope is relaxed in both models. In contrast, a 50% wind stress increase drives disparate model responses, where the high resolution overturning decreases by 20%, but increases by 100% in the coarse resolution model. It is demonstrated that this difference is explained by changes in surface buoyancy forcing due to a reduced Antarctic sea ice cover, which strongly modulate the overturning reponse and ocean stratification. It is concluded that the parameterized eddies are able to mimic the transient response to altered wind stress in the high resolution model, but partly misrepresent the unperturbed Southern Ocean meridional overturning circulation and associated heat transports.