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A parametrization, based on sea ice morphology, of the neutral atmospheric drag coefficients for weather prediction and climate models

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Lüpkes, C. , Gryanik, V. M. , Hartmann, J. and Andreas, E. L. (2012): A parametrization, based on sea ice morphology, of the neutral atmospheric drag coefficients for weather prediction and climate models , Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, 117 (D13112) . doi: 10.1029/2012JD017630
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Abstract:

A hierarchy of parametrizations of the neutral 10 m drag coefficients over polar sea ice with different morphology regimes is derived on the basis of a partitioning concept that splits the total surface drag into contributions of skin drag and form drag. The new derivation, which provides drag coefficients as a function of sea ice concentration and characteristic length scales of roughness elements, needs fewer assumptions than previous similar approaches. It is shown that form drag variability can explain the variability of surface drag in the marginal sea ice zone (MIZ) and in the summertime inner Arctic regions. In the MIZ, form drag is generated by floe edges; in the inner Arctic, by edges at melt ponds and leads due to the elevation of the ice surface relative to the open water surface. It is shown that an earlier fit of observed neutral drag coefficients is obtained as a special case within the new concept when specific simplifications are made which concern the floe and melt pond geometry. Due to the different surface morphologies in the MIZ and summertime Arctic, different functional dependencies of the drag coefficients on the sea ice concentration result. These differences cause only minor differences between the MIZ and summertime drag coefficients in average conditions, but they might be locally important for atmospheric momentum transport to sea ice. The new parametrization formulae can be used for present conditions but also for future climate scenarios with changing sea ice conditions.

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