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Impact of atmospheric forcing data on simulations of the Laptev Sea polynya dynamics using the sea-ice ocean model FESOM

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Ernsdorf, T. , Schröder, D. , Adams, S. , Heinemann, G. , Timmermann, R. and Danilov, S. (2011): Impact of atmospheric forcing data on simulations of the Laptev Sea polynya dynamics using the sea-ice ocean model FESOM , Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 116 (C12038), pp. 1-18 . doi: 10.1029/2010JC006725
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Abstract:

The polynyas of the Laptev Sea are regions of particular interest due to the strong formation of Arctic sea-ice. In order to simulate the polynya dynamics and to quantify ice production, we apply the Finite Element Sea-Ice Ocean Model FESOM. In previous simulations FESOM has been forced with daily atmospheric NCEP (National Centers for Environmental Prediction) 1. For the periods 1 April to 9 May 2008 and 1 January to 8 February 2009 we examine the impact of different forcing data: daily and 6-hourly NCEP reanalyses 1 (1.875° × 1.875°), 6-hourly NCEP reanalyses 2 (1.875° × 1.875°), 6-hourly analyses from the GME (Global Model of the German Weather Service) (0.5° × 0.5°) and high-resolution hourly COSMO (Consortium for Small-Scale Modeling) data (5 km × 5 km). In all FESOM simulations, except for those with 6-hourly and daily NCEP 1 data, the openings and closings of polynyas are simulated in principle agreement with satellite products. Over the fast-ice area the wind fields of all atmospheric data are similar and close to in situ measurements. Over the polynya areas, however, there are strong differences between the forcing data with respect to air temperature and turbulent heat flux. These differences have a strong impact on sea-ice production rates. Depending on the forcing fields polynya ice production ranges from 1.4 km3 to 7.8 km3 during 1 April to 9 May 2011 and from 25.7 km3 to 66.2 km3 during 1 January to 8 February 2009. Therefore, atmospheric forcing data with high spatial and temporal resolution which account for the presence of the polynyas are needed to reduce the uncertainty in quantifying ice production in polynyas.

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