Representation of the Weddell Sea deep water masses in the ocean component of the NCAR-CCSM model

Kerr, Rodrigo; Wainer, Ilana Elazari Klein Coaracy; Mata, Mauricio Magalhães


We examine Weddell Sea deep water mass distributions with respect to the results from three different model runs using the oceanic component of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model (NCAR-CCSM). One run is inter-annually forced by corrected NCAR/ NCEP fluxes, while the other two are forced with the annual cycle obtained from the same climatology. One of the latter runs includes an interactive sea-ice model. Optimum Multiparameter analysis is applied to separate the deep water masses in the Greenwich Meridian section (into the Weddell Sea only) to measure the degree of realism obtained in the simulations. First, we describe the distribution of the simulated deep water masses using observed water type indices. Since the observed indices do not provide an acceptable representation of the Weddell Sea deep water masses as expected, they are specifically adjusted for each simulation. Differences among the water masses’ representations in the three simulations are quantified through their root-mean-square differences. Results point out the need for better representation (and inclusion) of ice-related processes in order to improve the oceanic characteristics and variability of dense Southern Ocean water masses in the outputs of the NCAR-CCSM model, and probably in other ocean and climate models.

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