Simulation of subantarctic mode ana antarctic intermediate waters in climate models

Bernadette M. Sloyan, Igor Kamenkovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Southern Ocean's Subantarctic Mode Water (SAMW) and Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW) are two globally significant upper-ocean water masses that circulate in all Southern Hemisphere subtropical gyres and cross the equator to enter the North Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans. Simulations of SAMW and AAIW for the twentieth century in eight climate models [GFDL-CM2.1, CCSM3, CNRM-CM3, MIROC3.2(medres), MIROC3.2(hires), MRI-CGCM2.3.2, CSIRO-Mk3.0, and UKMO-HadCM3] that provided their output in support of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC AR4) have been compared to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Atlas of Regional Seas. The climate models, except for UKMO-HadCM3, CSIRO-Mk3.0, and MRI-CGCM2.3.2, provide a reasonable simulation of SAMW and AAIW isopycnal temperature and salinity in the Southern Ocean. Many models simulate the potential vorticity minimum layer and salinity minimum layer of SAMW and AAIW, respectively. However, the simulated SAMW layer is generally thinner and at lighter densities than observed. All climate models display a limited equatorward extension of SAMW and AAIW north of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Errors in the simulation of SAMW and AAIW property characteristics are likely to be due to a combination of many errors in the climate models, including simulation of wind and buoyancy forcing, inadequate representation of subgrid-scale mixing processes in the Southern Ocean, and midlatitude diapycnal mixing parameterizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5061-5080
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume20
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2007
Externally publishedYes

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Antarctic Intermediate Water
mode water
climate modeling
Commonwealth of Nations
simulation
ocean
buoyancy forcing
salinity
circumpolar current
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
wind forcing
upper ocean
potential vorticity
twentieth century
atlas
water mass
Southern Hemisphere
parameterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Simulation of subantarctic mode ana antarctic intermediate waters in climate models. / Sloyan, Bernadette M.; Kamenkovich, Igor.

In: Journal of Climate, Vol. 20, No. 20, 15.10.2007, p. 5061-5080.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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