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Oceanic Overturning and Heat Transport: The Role of Background Diffusivity
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology . Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4414-6859
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9591-124X
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
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Number of Authors: 52019 (English)In: Journal of Climate, ISSN 0894-8755, E-ISSN 1520-0442, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 701-716Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The role of oceanic background diapycnal diffusion for the equilibrium climate state is investigated in the global coupled climate model CM2G. Special emphasis is put on the oceanic meridional overturning and heat transport. Six runs with the model, differing only by their value of the background diffusivity, are run to steady state and the statistically steady integrations are compared. The diffusivity changes have large-scale impacts on many aspects of the climate system. Two examples are the volume-mean potential temperature, which increases by 3.6 degrees C between the least and most diffusive runs, and the Antarctic sea ice extent, which decreases rapidly as the diffusivity increases. The overturning scaling with diffusivity is found to agree rather well with classical theoretical results for the upper but not for the lower cell. An alternative empirical scaling with the mixing energy is found to give good results for both cells. The oceanic meridional heat transport increases strongly with the diffusivity, an increase that can only partly be explained by increases in the meridional overturning. The increasing poleward oceanic heat transport is accompanied by a decrease in its atmospheric counterpart, which keeps the increase in the planetary energy transport small compared to that in the ocean.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 32, no 3, p. 701-716
Keywords [en]
Diapycnal mixing, Diffusion, Ocean circulation, Energy transport
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-165642DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0438.1ISI: 000455005000002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-165642DiVA, id: diva2:1286981
Available from: 2019-02-08 Created: 2019-02-08 Last updated: 2019-12-17Bibliographically approved

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Hieronymus, MagnusNycander, JonasNilsson, JohanDöös, Kristofer
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