In this research we are investigating the ocean energy budget for different climate regimes and the role meso-scale processes play in energy distribution.
Global ocean energy budgets for present-day and paleo climate modelling
Our energy budget modelling is being conducted using the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) coupled to the Community Land Model (CLM), incorporating a slab ocean model. In the future we plan to run the full Community Climate System Model Version 3.0 (CCSM3.0). The aim of the energy budget modelling is to gain a clear understanding of the current ocean energy imbalance due to past and present estimated natural and anthropogenic forcings. Over the last decade, the energy imbalance has been confirmed by observations of increasing ocean heat content. Comparison will be made to the Miocene period (15Ma) and future climate scenarios. The role of the ocean in meridional heat transport will also be investigated.
Modelling meso-scale mixing processes
Meso-scale processes have a significant influence on large-scale circulation and hence climate, so their inclusion in global circulation models is extremely important. Due to the large spatial and temporal scales used in global circulation models, meso-scale mixing processes which have a spatial scale of a few km to 100km require to be represented through parameterisation in these models.
We are looking to develop a dynamical model for direct calculation of energy transfer within meso-scale mixing processes. The aim of the model is to allow understanding of the relative importance of mixing associated with the following:
- Wind stress on the sea surface
- Stratification interfaces (interface dynamics, including horizontal (vortical) modes and internal wave propagation)
- Bottom topography (as form and frictional drag)
- Oscillatory flows (tidal dissipation and seiching)
Figure 1. 2-D dynamical model (x-z, longitude-depth) of principal mixing mechanisms
Contact: Judith Tong