The oceanic response to mesoscale atmospheric forcing


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Thomas.Jung [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The response of the oceanic circulation to mesoscale atmospheric forcing is studied by comparing integrations of a global sea ice-ocean model with high-resolution European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts analysis data (0.4◦) to those with the same forcing coarse grained to a resolution typically employed in climate models and atmospheric reanalyses (1.8◦). It is shown that the representation of mesoscale features in atmospheric forcing fields leads to an increase in the strength of the wind-driven gyres in the North Atlantic and North Pacific regions of about 5–10% of its mean value. An increase of similar magnitude is found for the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. From the results of this study it is argued that small-scale atmospheric phenomena such as fronts, mesoscale cyclones, and topographic jets play an important role in driving the mean oceanic circulation.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
35302
DOI 10.1002/2013GL059040

Cite as
Jung, T. , Serrar, S. and Wang, Q. (2014): The oceanic response to mesoscale atmospheric forcing , Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (4), pp. 1255-1260 . doi: 10.1002/2013GL059040


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