Scientists clarify why meridional warmth transport is underestimated

Schematic diagram of the power stream over the Atlantic. Credit score: Ning Cao, Chunlei Liu

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a phenomenon answerable for transporting ocean warmth northward by the Atlantic Ocean. This course of considerably influences the Arctic and North Atlantic oceanic local weather and the Eurasian continental local weather. The corresponding cross-equatorial northward warmth transport additionally determines the situation of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), affecting international power and rainfall distribution. Modifications in ocean internet floor warmth flux play an necessary function in modulating the variability of the AMOC and therefore the regional and international local weather. Nevertheless, the unfold of simulated floor warmth fluxes remains to be giant and AMOC underestimation is frequent, as a consequence of poorly represented dynamical processes involving multi-scale interactions throughout the mannequin simulations.

Publishing their work in Advances of Atmospheric Sciences, Prof. Chunlei Liu and collaborators from Guangdong Ocean College, the College of Studying, and the College of Cambridge offered new findings on why warmth loss over the North Atlantic is underestimated in state-of-the-art atmospheric local weather mannequin simulations.

Of their examine, the DEEPC (Diagnosing Earth’s Vitality Pathways within the Local weather system) dataset is used because the “fact” for comparability. The DEEPC dataset is constructed utilizing the power conservation technique. This dataset has been broadly utilized by climatologists throughout the analysis neighborhood because it supplies affordable settlement concerning inferred oceanic warmth transport with the in-situ RAPID (Speedy Local weather Change-Meridional Overturning Circulation and Warmth flux array) observations in each variability and amount.

“The warmth loss from the AMIP6 ensemble imply north of 26°N within the Atlantic is about 10 watts per sq. meter lower than DEEPC, and the inferred meridional warmth transport is about 0.3 petawatts (1 petawatt = 1015 watts) decrease than the 1.22 petawatts from RAPID and DEEPC,” mentioned co-author Dr. Ning Cao. “These findings can assist the analysis neighborhood extra precisely interpret the historic simulations and projections produced by up to date fashions.”

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After additional investigation, the workforce discovered that low mannequin horizontal decision produced discrepancies between simulations. They confirmed that by growing the decision, it’s potential to enhance floor warmth flux simulations north of 26°N and the inferred warmth transport at 26°N within the Atlantic.

“Though there are issues in simulations, the local weather mannequin nonetheless performs an necessary function in local weather change analysis,” mentioned Professor Liu. “Additional work is required to enhance mannequin simulations of floor fluxes, and analysis to scale back observational flux uncertainty can be ongoing by collaboration with the College of Studying and UK Met Workplace.”


Deep ocean warming as local weather modifications


Extra info:
Chunlei Liu et al, Discrepancies in Simulated Ocean Internet Floor Warmth Fluxes over the North Atlantic, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1007/s00376-022-1360-7
Offered by
Chinese language Academy of Sciences

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Scientists clarify why meridional warmth transport is underestimated (2022, Might 20)
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