Model simulations of CFC uptake in North Atlantic Deep Water: Effects of parameterizations and grid resolution

Beismann, Jens-Olaf and Redler, Rene (2003) Model simulations of CFC uptake in North Atlantic Deep Water: Effects of parameterizations and grid resolution Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 108 (C5). p. 3159. DOI 10.1029/2001JC001253.

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A series of numerical experiments with models of the Atlantic Ocean is analyzed with respect to the uptake of CFC‐11 and its export from the subpolar gyre with the North Atlantic Deep Water. We discuss the influence of parameterizations for air‐sea gas exchange and subgrid‐scale processes on the rate of CFC‐11 that enters the North Atlantic Ocean and its dependence on horizontal grid spacing in models from medium (4/3°) to eddy‐permitting (1/3°) horizontal resolution. Model results are compared with observational estimates of tracer inventories in order to evaluate to what degree the simulations capture realistic CFC distributions. While higher resolution is needed to model details of the CFC distribution, for example, in the Deep Western Boundary Current, the medium resolution models are able to simulate quantitatively satisfying CFC inventories in different water masses. Nevertheless, the inventories derived from the medium‐resolution experiments show a critical dependence on details of the parameterization of the mixing effect of mesoscale eddies and on the representation of bottom boundary layer processes. The numerical representation of eddy activity turns out to be of crucial importance in order to obtain modeled CFC inventories in agreement with observed values, which can be achieved either by carefully choosing the mixing parameterization or by applying higher horizontal resolution. The ratio of CFC‐11 being exported southward from the subpolar North Atlantic to the total CFC‐11 inventory in NADW does not vary significantly over the suite of model experiments.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: numerical modeling, North Atlantic Deep Water, subpolar North Atlantic, chlorofluorocarbons, mixing parameterization, high-resolution simulations
Research affiliation: OceanRep > Institute for Marine Science Kiel
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2001JC001253
ISSN: 2169-9275
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:25
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2018 13:06

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