Water properties and circulation in Arctic Ocean models

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Holloway, G. , Dupont, F. , Golubeva, E. , Häkkinen, S. , Hunke, E. , Karcher, M. , Kauker, F. , Maltrud, M. , Morales Maqueda, M. , Maslowski, W. , Platov, G. , Stark, D. , Steele, M. , Worthen, D. and Zhang, J. (2007): Water properties and circulation in Arctic Ocean models , Journal of geophysical research-oceans, 112, C04S03 . doi: 10.1029/2006JC003642
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As a part of the Arctic Ocean Model Intercomparison Project, results from 10 Arcticocean/ice models are intercompared over the period 1970 through 1999. Models monthlymean outputs are laterally integrated over two subdomains (Amerasian and Eurasianbasins), then examined as functions of depth and time. Differences in such fields asaveraged temperature and salinity arise from models differences in parameterizationsand numerical methods and from different domain sizes, with anomalies that develop atlower latitudes carried into the Arctic. A systematic deficiency is seen as AOMIP modelstend to produce thermally stratified upper layers rather than the cold halocline,suggesting missing physics perhaps related to vertical mixing or to shelf-basin exchanges.Flow fields pose a challenge for intercomparison. We introduce topostrophy, the verticalcomponent of Vx gradD where V is monthly mean velocity and gradD is the gradient oftotal depth, characterizing the tendency to follow topographic slopes. Positive topostrophyexpresses a tendency for cyclonic rim currents. Systematic differences of modelscirculations are found to depend strongly upon assumed roles of unresolved eddies.

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