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Sensitivity of a global coupled ocean-sea ice model to the parameterization of vertical mixing
Goosse, H.; Deleersnijder, E.; Fichefet, T.; England, M.H. (1999). Sensitivity of a global coupled ocean-sea ice model to the parameterization of vertical mixing. J. Geophys. Res. 104(C6): 13681-13695. hdl.handle.net/10.1029/1999JC900099
In: Journal of Geophysical Research. American Geophysical Union: Richmond. ISSN 0148-0227, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Eddy diffusivity; Ocean circulation; Ocean-ice-atmosphere system; Parameterization; Sea ice; Surface mixed layer; Tracers; Turbulence; Ventilation; Vertical mixing; Viscosity; Water masses; World Oceans [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Goosse, H., more
  • Deleersnijder, E., more
  • Fichefet, T., more
  • England, M.H.

Abstract
    Three numerical experiments have been carried out with a global coupled ice-ocean model to investigate its sensitivity to the treatment of vertical mixing in the upper ocean. In the first experiment, a widely used fixed profile of vertical diffusivity and viscosity is imposed, with large values in the upper 50 m to crudely represent wind-driven mixing. In the second experiment, the eddy coefficients are functions of the Richardson number, and, in the third case, a relatively sophisticated parameterization, based on the turbulence closure scheme of Mellor and Yamada version 2.5, is introduced. We monitor the way the different mixing schemes affect the simulated ocean ventilation, water mass properties, and sea ice distributions. CFC uptake is also diagnosed in the model experiments. The simulation of the mixed layer depth is improved in the experiment which includes the sophisticated turbulence closure scheme. This results in a good representation of the upper ocean thermohaline structure and in heat exchange with the atmosphere within the range of current estimates. However, the error in heat flux in the experiment with simple fixed vertical mixing coefficients can be as high as 50 W m super(-2) in zonal mean during summer. Using CFC tracers allows us to demonstrate that the ventilation of the deep ocean is not significantly influenced by the paramertization of vertical mixing in the upper ocean.

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