AbstractWeddell Polynya transport mechanisms in the deep and abyssal oceans are examined in the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory’s (NOAA/GFDL) coupled climate model, CM2G. During an 1820-year-long integration of the model, polynyas are forced every 29 years in the Weddell Sea via an increase in the diapycnal diffusivity. Composites of the events are used to examine the mechanisms responsible for transporting polynya signals away from the Weddell Sea. Polynya signal transport is governed by two dynamical mechanisms that act on different timescales and spread at different rates. Large-scale waves, such as Kelvin and planetary and topographic Rossby waves, propagate the polynya signal rapidly, on interannual-to-decadal timescales, while advection transports the signal more slowly, on decadal-to-centennial timescales. Despite their different spreading rates, these mechanisms can act contemporaneously, and it is often their combined effect that governs the property changes in the global deep and abyssal oceans. Both waves and advection cause temperature changes on isobaths. In the deep Atlantic, advection accounts for <15% of the total temperature change in the model, indicating that waves are strongly dominant there. Elsewhere, waves are still the stronger contributor, but advection accounts for 20%-40% of the total temperature change.
Journal of Physical Oceanography – American Meteorological Society
Published: Oct 19, 2017
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