Influence of a salt plume parameterization in a coupled climate model

Dmitry.Sidorenko [ at ]


Sea ice formation is accompanied by the rejection of salt which in nature tends to be mixed vertically by the formation of convective plumes. Here we analyze the influence of a salt plume parameterization (SPP) in an atmosphere-sea ice-ocean model. Two 330 years long simulations have been conducted with the AWI Climate Model. In the reference simulation, the rejected salt in the Arctic Ocean is added to the upper-most ocean layer. This approach is commonly used in climate modelling. In another experiment, employing SPP, the rejected salt is vertically redistributed within the mixed layer based on a power law profile that mimics the penetration of salt plumes. We discuss the effects of this redistribution on the simulated mean state and on atmosphere-ocean linkages associated with the intensity of deep water formation. We find that the salt plume parametrization leads to simultaneous increase of sea ice (volume and concentration) and decrease of sea surface salinity in the Arctic. The SPP considerably alters the interplay between the atmosphere and the ocean in the Nordic Seas. The parameterization modifies the ocean ventilation; however, resulting changes in temperature and salinity largely compensate each other in terms of density so that the overturning circulation is not significantly affected.

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Primary Division
Primary Topic
Research Networks
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Eprint ID
DOI 10.1029/2018MS001291

Cite as
Sidorenko, D. , Koldunov, N. , Wang, Q. , Danilov, S. , Goessling, H. , Gurses, O. , Scholz, P. , Sein, D. , Volodin, E. , Wekerle, C. and Jung, T. (2018): Influence of a salt plume parameterization in a coupled climate model , Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems . doi: 10.1029/2018MS001291

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