The ocean's gravitational potential energy budget in a coupled climate model
Butler, E. D., Oliver, K. I., Gregory, J. M. and Tailleux, R. (2013) The ocean's gravitational potential energy budget in a coupled climate model. Geophysical Research Letters, 40 (20). pp. 5417-5422. ISSN 0094-8276
To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/2013GL057996
This study examines, in a uniﬁed fashion, the budgets of ocean gravitational potential energy (GPE) and available gravitational potential energy (AGPE) in the control simulation of the coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model HadCM3. Only AGPE can be converted into kinetic energy by adiabatic processes. Diapycnal mixing supplies GPE, but not AGPE, whereas the reverse is true of the combined eﬀect of surface buoyancy forcing and convection. Mixing and buoyancy forcing, thus, play complementary roles in sustaining the large scale circulation. However, the largest globally integrated source of GPE is resolved advection (+0.57 TW) and the largest sink is through parameterized eddy transports (-0.82 TW). The eﬀect of these adiabatic processes on AGPE is identical to their eﬀect on GPE, except for perturbations to both budgets due to numerical leakage exacerbated by non-linearities in the equation of state.