Decomposing barotropic transport variability in a high‐resolution model of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Wang, Yuan , Greatbatch, Richard John , Claus, Martin and Sheng, Jinyu (2020) Decomposing barotropic transport variability in a high‐resolution model of the North Atlantic Ocean. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans . DOI 10.1029/2019JC015516.

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Abstract

A method using a linear shallow water model is presented for decomposing the temporal variability of the barotropic streamfunction in a high‐resolution ocean model. The method is based in the vertically‐averaged momentum equations and is applied to the time series of annual mean streamfunction from the model configuration VIKING20 for the northern North Atlantic. An important result is the role played by the nonlinear advection terms in VIKING20 for driving transport. The method is illustrated by examining how the Gulf Stream transport in the recirculation region responds to the winter North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). While no statistically significant response is found in the year overlapping with the winter NAO index, there is a tendency for the Gulf Stream transport to increase as the NAO becomes more positive. This becomes significant in lead years 1 and 2 when the mean flow advection (MFA) and eddy momentum flux (EMF) contributions, associated with nonlinear momentum advection, dominate. Only after 2 years, does the potential energy (PE) term, associated with the density field, start to play a role and it is only after 5 years that the transport dependence on the NAO ceases to be significant. It is also shown that the PE contribution to the transport streamfunction has significant memory of up to 5 years in the Labrador and Irminger Seas. However, it is only around the northern rim of these seas that VIKING20 and the transport reconstruction exhibit similar memory. This is due to masking by the MFA and EMF contributions.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: North Atlantic; transport variability; high resolution model
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-OD Ocean Dynamics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2019JC015516
ISSN: 2169-9275
Projects: Opendap
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2020 06:39
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2020 12:17
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/49274

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