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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-76
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-76
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  18 Aug 2020

18 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

The Atlantic's Freshwater Budget under Climate Change in the Community Earth System Model with Strongly Eddying Oceans

André Jüling, Xun Zhang, Daniele Castellana, Anna S. von der Heydt, and Henk A. Dijkstra André Jüling et al.
  • Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU), Utrecht University, the Netherlands

Abstract. We investigate the freshwater and salinity budget of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans in a strongly eddying coupled climate change simulation with the Community Earth System Model (CESM) and compare it to a simulation with a coarse ocean resolution CESM configuration, typical of CMIP6 models. Details of these budgets are important to understand the evolution of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) under climate change. We find that the slowdown of the AMOC in 2100 under the increasing CO2 concentrations of the RCP8.5 scenario is almost identical between both simulations. Also, the surface freshwater fluxes are similar in their mean and trend under climate change in both simulations. While the basin-scale total freshwater transport is similar between the simulations, significant local differences exist. The high ocean resolution simulation exhibits significantly reduced ocean state biases, notably in the salt distribution, due to an improved circulation. Mesoscale eddies contribute considerably to the freshwater and salt transport, in particular at the boundary of the subtropical and subpolar gyres. Both simulations start in the single equilibrium AMOC regime according to a commonly used AMOC stability indicator and evolve towards the multiple equilibrium regime under climate change, but only the high resolution simulation enters it due to the reduced biases in the freshwater budget.

André Jüling et al.

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André Jüling et al.

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Latest update: 30 Nov 2020
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Short summary
We investigate how the freshwater budget of the Atlantic changes under climate change which has implications for the stability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. We compare the effect of ocean model resolution in a climate model and find many similarities between the simulations enhancing trust in the current generation of climate models. However, the overall ocean state is improved in the high resolution simulation and significant local freshwater budget differences exist.
We investigate how the freshwater budget of the Atlantic changes under climate change which has...
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