Articles | Volume 19, issue 6
Research article
 | Highlight paper
30 Nov 2023
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 30 Nov 2023

Constraining an eddy energy dissipation rate due to relative wind stress for use in energy budget-based eddy parameterisations

Thomas Wilder, Xiaoming Zhai, David Munday, and Manoj Joshi


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This analytical study investigates the eddy energy dissipation rate for relative wind stress. The derived dissipation rate draws on our fundamental understanding of relative wind stress damping, vertical eddy structure, and eddy energy. The study suggests a method to parameterise the damping of total eddy energy in coarse resolution global climate models, and may have implications for a wide range of climate processes.
Short summary
The dissipation rate of eddy energy in current energy budget-based eddy parameterisations is still relatively unconstrained, leading to uncertainties in ocean transport and ocean heat uptake. Here, we derive a dissipation rate due to the interaction of surface winds and eddy currents, a process known to significantly damp ocean eddies. The dissipation rate is quantified using seasonal climatology and displays wide spatial variability, with some of the largest values found in the Southern Ocean.