Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Ocean models require parameterization of the penetrative length scales of shortwave irradiance into the surface ocean. Surface ocean biology may modulate this length scale on a variety of space-time scales and this variability may, in turn, impact numerical model forecasts of surface ocean temperatures and ocean-atmosphere heat exchange. We present results from both global and regional ocean forecasting systems evaluating the sensitivity of the systems to various representations of surface ocean bio-optical variability. Global numerical experiments with the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) demonstrate secondary circulation effects due to bio-optical variability in surface waters. Regional-scale two-way coupled ocean atmosphere systems further indicate a significant impact on turbulent thermal energy exchanges when coastal phytoplankton blooms are represented in the modeling system.
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