Influence of coupling on atmosphere, sea ice and ocean regional models in the Ross Sea sector, Antarctica

Nicolas C. Jourdain 1 Pierre Mathiot 2 Hubert Gallée 3 Bernard Barnier 2
1 CLIPS
LGGE - Laboratoire de glaciologie et géophysique de l'environnement, LEGI - Laboratoire des Écoulements Géophysiques et Industriels [Grenoble]
3 CLIPS
LGGE - Laboratoire de glaciologie et géophysique de l'environnement
Abstract : Air-sea ice-ocean interactions in the Ross Sea sector form dense waters that feed the global thermohaline circulation. In this paper, we develop the new limited-area ocean-sea ice-atmosphere coupled model TANGO to simulate the Ross Sea sector. TANGO is built up by coupling the atmospheric limited-area model MAR to a regional configuration of the ocean-sea ice model NEMO. A method is then developed to identify the mechanisms by which local coupling affects the simulations. TANGO is shown to simulate realistic sea ice properties and atmospheric surface temperatures. These skills are mostly related to the skills of the stand alone atmospheric and oceanic models used to build TANGO. Nonetheless, air temperatures over ocean and winter sea ice thickness are found to be slightly improved in coupled simulations as compared to standard stand alone ones. Local atmosphere ocean feedbacks over the open ocean are found to significantly influence ocean temperature and salinity. In a stand alone ocean configuration, the dry and cold air produces an ocean cooling through sensible and latent heat loss. In a coupled configuration, the atmosphere is in turn moistened and warmed by the ocean; sensible and latent heat loss is therefore reduced as compared to the stand alone simulations. The atmosphere is found to be less sensitive to local feedbacks than the ocean. Effects of local feedbacks are increased in the coastal area because of the presence of sea ice. It is suggested that slow heat conduction within sea ice could amplify the feedbacks. These local feedbacks result in less sea ice production in polynyas in coupled mode, with a subsequent reduction in deep water formation.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 31, 2011 - 9:54:04 PM
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Nicolas C. Jourdain, Pierre Mathiot, Hubert Gallée, Bernard Barnier. Influence of coupling on atmosphere, sea ice and ocean regional models in the Ross Sea sector, Antarctica. Climate Dynamics, Springer Verlag, 2010, 36 (7-8), pp.1523-1543. ⟨10.1007/S00382-010-0889-9⟩. ⟨hal-00561273⟩

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