Fox-Kemper, B., Adcroft, A., Böning, C. W., Chassignet, E. P., Curchitser, E., Danabasoglu, G., et al. (2019). Challenges and Prospects in Ocean Circulation Models.
Front. Mar. Sci., 6.
Abstract: We revisit the challenges and prospects for ocean circulation models following Griffies et al. (2010). Over the past decade, ocean circulation models evolved through improved understanding, numerics, spatial discretization, grid configurations, parameterizations, data assimilation, environmental monitoring, and process-level observations and modeling. Important large scale applications over the last decade are simulations of the Southern Ocean, the Meridional Overturning Circulation and its variability, and regional sea level change. Submesoscale variability is now routinely resolved in process models and permitted in a few global models, and submesoscale effects are parameterized in most global models. The scales where nonhydrostatic effects become important are beginning to be resolved in regional and process models. Coupling to sea ice, ice shelves, and high-resolution atmospheric models has stimulated new ideas and driven improvements in numerics. Observations have provided insight into turbulence and mixing around the globe and its consequences are assessed through perturbed physics models. Relatedly, parameterizations of the mixing and overturning processes in boundary layers and the ocean interior have improved. New diagnostics being used for evaluating models alongside present and novel observations are briefly referenced. The overall goal is summarizing new developments in ocean modeling, including how new and existing observations can be used, what modeling challenges remain, and how simulations can be used to support observations.
Griffies, S. M., Danabasoglu, G., Durack, P. J., Adcroft, A. J., Balaji, V., Böning, C. W., et al. (2016). OMIP contribution to CMIP6: experimental and diagnostic protocol for the physical component of the Ocean Model Intercomparison Project.
Geosci. Model Dev., 9(9), 3231–3296.
Roberts, M. J., Jackson, L. C., Roberts, C. D., Meccia, V., Docquier, D., Koenigk, T., et al. (2020). Sensitivity of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation to Model Resolution in CMIP6 HighResMIP Simulations and Implications for Future Changes.
J. Adv. Model. Earth Syst., , Accepted.
Abstract: A multi‐model, multi‐resolution ensemble using CMIP6 HighResMIP coupled experiments is used to assess the performance of key aspects of the North Atlantic circulation. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), and related heat transport, tends to become stronger as ocean model resolution is enhanced, better agreeing with observations at 26.5°N. However for most models the circulation remains too shallow compared to observations, and has a smaller temperature contrast between the northward and southward limbs of the AMOC. These biases cause the northward heat transport to be systematically too low for a given overturning strength. The higher resolution models also tend to have too much deep mixing in the subpolar gyre.
In the period 2015‐2050 the overturning circulation tends to decline more rapidly in the higher resolution models, which is related to both the mean state and to the subpolar gyre contribution to deep water formation. The main part of the decline comes from the Florida Current component of the circulation. Such large declines in AMOC are not seen in the models with resolutions more typically used for climate studies, suggesting an enhanced risk for Northern Hemisphere climate change. However, only a small number of different ocean models are included in the study.