The ocean transports vast amounts of heat around the planet, helping to regulate regional climate. In this talk I will discuss a framework that relates the ocean's meridional heat transport to the diabatic processes of air-sea heat fluxes and mixing that move heat across temperature classes (i.e. the ocean's diathermal heat transport). Applied to global MOM5 and ACCESS-OM2 simulations the framework emphasizes the role of surface heat gain and mixing in the eastern tropical Pacific and the exchange of heat between the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic basins. Turbulent mixing (both explicitly parameterized and numerical) plays a key role by moving heat from the warm, shallow Indo-Pacific circulation to the deeper-reaching Atlantic circulation and to the cold isotherms that outcrop in the North Atlantic. I will also discuss the use of the framework for estimating numerical mixing in realistic global model simulations as well as its sensitivity to resolution and explicit physics parameterizations.
GFDL Informal Seminar
Mon, Jun 22, 2020, 10:30 am to 11:30 am
Smagorinsky Seminar Room 209