8.7 Ocean surface gravity wave effects on global climate simulations

Thursday, 12 July 2012: 12:00 PM
Essex North (Westin Copley Place)
Yalin Fan, US Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS; and S. Griffies and S. J. Lin

Ocean surface gravity waves (OSGW) play a significant role in many physical processes at the air-sea interface. The momentum, heat, and moisture fluxes through the air-sea interface not only depend on the atmospheric state (i.e. the surface wind speed) but also on variations of the sea state (the state of the OSGW field). When waves grow or decay, it affects the momentum flux from the atmosphere to the ocean. Wave breaking leads to bubble generation and injects spray into the air, which affects latent heat flux and albedos. The Stokes drift can interact with vertical vorticity to create Langmuir cells, which can increase turbulent mixing and deepen the ocean mixed layer. OSGW can also fatigue and fracture sea ice and encourage melting, which will lead to sea level rise. We have developed a fully coupled global simulation system using the operational wave model developed at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/Environmental Modeling Center, and the GFDL's global coupled climate model CM2.1. A century long integration will be conducted using this coupled system, and the preliminary results on the impacts of surface gravity waves on global climate simulations through momentum fluxes and Langmuir turbulence will be presented.
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