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Impact of ocean resolution on coupled air-sea fluxes and large-scale climate

Roberts, M. J., Hewitt, H. T., Hyder, P., Ferreira, D., Josey, S. A., Mizielinski, M. and Shelly, A. (2016) Impact of ocean resolution on coupled air-sea fluxes and large-scale climate. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (19). 10,430-10,438. ISSN 0094-8276

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2016GL070559

Abstract/Summary

Air-sea fluxes are a crucial component in the energetics of the global climate system. The largest air-sea fluxes occur in regions of high sea surface temperature variability, such as ocean boundary, frontal currents and eddies. In this paper we explore the importance of ocean model resolution to resolve air-sea flux relationships in these areas. We examine the SST-wind stress relationship in high-pass filtered observations and two versions of the Met Office climate model with eddy-permitting and eddy-resolving ocean resolution. Eddy-resolving resolution shows marginal improvement in the relationship over eddy-permitting resolution. However, by focussing on the North Atlantic we show that the eddy-resolving model has significant enhancement of latent heat loss over the North Atlantic Current region, a long-standing model bias. While eddy-resolving resolution does not change the air-sea flux relationship at small scale, the impact on the mean state has important implications for the reliability of future climate projections.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:66798
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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