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Discrepancies in simulated ocean net surface heat fluxes over the North Atlantic

Liu, C., Yang, Y., Liao, X., Cao, N., Liu, J., Ou, N., Allan, R. P. ORCID:, Jin, L., Chen, N. and Zheng, R. (2022) Discrepancies in simulated ocean net surface heat fluxes over the North Atlantic. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 39 (11). pp. 1941-1955. ISSN 0256-1530

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00376-022-1360-7


The change in ocean net surface heat flux plays an important role in the climate system. It is closely related to the ocean heat content change and ocean heat transport, particularly over the North Atlantic, where the ocean loses heat to the atmosphere, affecting the AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) variability and hence the global climate. However, the difference between simulated surface heat fluxes is still large due to poorly represented dynamical processes involving multiscale interactions in model simulations. In order to explain the discrepancy of the surface heat flux over the North Atlantic, datasets from nineteen AMIP6 and eight highresSST-present climate model simulations are analyzed and compared with the DEEPC (Diagnosing Earth's Energy Pathways in the Climate system) product. As an indirect check of the ocean surface heat flux, the oceanic heat transport inferred from the combination of the ocean surface heat flux, sea ice, and ocean heat content tendency is compared with the RAPID (Rapid Climate Change-Meridional Overturning Circulation and Heat flux array) observations at 26°N in the Atlantic. The AMIP6 simulations show lower inferred heat transport due to less heat loss to the atmosphere. The heat loss from the AMIP6 ensemble mean north of 26°N in the Atlantic is about 10 W m–2 less than DEEPC, and the heat transport is about 0.30 PW (1 PW = 1015 W) lower than RAPID and DEEPC. The model horizontal resolution effect on the discrepancy is also investigated. Results show that by increasing the resolution, both surface heat flux north of 26°N and heat transport at 26°N in the Atlantic can be improved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO)
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:104694


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