11 Modeled oceanic response to high-resolution atmospheric forcing during extreme mesoscale wind events around Greenland

Tuesday, 30 April 2013
North/West Room (Renaissance Seattle Hotel)
Alice DuVivier, CIRES/Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO; and J. J. Cassano, R. Osinski, A. Craig, A. Roberts, and W. Maslowski

Handout (2.6 MB)

The seas around Greenland are climatically important because they are one of the few areas where deep ocean convection has been observed. This region also has short-lived but frequently occurring mesoscale barrier winds and tip jets, characterized by high surface wind speeds over relatively small horizontal scales. These strong winds form when the large-scale atmospheric circulation interacts with the high, steep Greenland topography. The influence of the resulting strong mesoscale winds and large turbulent heat fluxes on the ocean, particularly deep convection, is not yet well understood. Because obtaining in-situ observations is difficult in this region, model simulations are essential for better understanding the dynamical interaction between the atmosphere and ocean during these types of mesoscale wind events. Previous model studies with simplified ocean models show that simulating atmospheric tip jets is important for forcing realistic ocean convection.

This presentation will show results from a pan-Arctic, regional adaptation of the Los Alamos Parallel Ocean Program (POP) and CICE models during the first three months of 2007. The high resolution (~9km, 45 vertical levels) ice-ocean model is eddy resolving in the seas around Greenland and is forced with realistic, 3-hourly data from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model at two resolutions (10km and 50km). Previous atmospheric studies have shown the importance of high-resolution for accurately simulating mesoscale wind events as model resolution was increased from 100 to 10 km. In the current work we examine the oceanic response in mixed layer depth to differing atmospheric resolution during a variety of strong wind events around Greenland from January 1 – March 31, 2007, a time period that overlaps with the Greenland Flow Distortion Experiment.

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