Effects of biologically induced differential heating in an eddy-permitting coupled ocean-ecosystem model.

Löptien, Ulrike , Eden, Carsten, Timmermann, Axel and Dietze, Heiner (2009) Effects of biologically induced differential heating in an eddy-permitting coupled ocean-ecosystem model. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 114 (C6). DOI 10.1029/2008JC004936.

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On the basis of integrations of an eddy-permitting coupled physical-biological model of the tropical Pacific we explore changes in the simulated mean circulation as well as its intraseasonal to interannual variability driven by the biologically modulated vertical absorption profiles of solar radiation. Three sensitivity ocean hind-cast experiments, covering the period from 1948 to 2003, are performed. In the first one, simulated chlorophyll affects the attenuation of light in the water column, while in the second experiment, the chlorophyll concentration is kept constant in time by prescribing an empirically derived spatial pattern. The third experiment uses a spatially and temporally constant value for the attenuation depth. The biotically induced differential heating is generated by increased absorption of light in the surface layers, leading to a surface warming and subsurface cooling. The effect is largest in the eastern equatorial Pacific. However, the initial vertical redistribution of heat leads to considerable changes of the near-surface ocean circulation subsequently influencing the near-surface temperature structure. In general, including biophysical coupling improves the model performance in terms of temperature and ocean circulation patterns. In particular, the upwelling in the eastern equatorial Pacific is enhanced, the mixed layer becomes shallower, the warm bias in the eastern Pacific is reduced, and the zonal temperature gradient increases. This leads to stronger La Niña events and an associated increase in the variability of the Niño3 SSTA time series. Furthermore, the eddy kinetic energy (EKE) associated with mesoscale eddies in the eastern equatorial Pacific increases by almost 100% because of enhanced EKE production due to enhanced horizontal and vertical shear of the mean currents.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: coupled ocean-ecosystem model; Pacific Ocean
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-TM Theory and Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2008JC004936
ISSN: 2169-9275
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2012 07:07
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2018 14:43
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/14993

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