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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-2020-85
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-85
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  18 Sep 2020

18 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Effects of strongly eddying oceans on multidecadal climate variability in the Community Earth System Model

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

Abstract. Climate variability on multidecadal time scales appears to be organized in pronounced patterns with clear expressions in sea surface temperature, such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. These patterns are now well studied both in observations and global climate models and are important in the attribution of climate change. Results from CMIP5 models have indicated large biases in these patterns with consequences for ocean heat storage variability and eventually the global mean surface temperature. In this paper, we use two multi-century Community Earth System Model simulations at coarse (1°) and fine (0.1°) ocean model horizontal grid spacing to study the effects of the representation of mesoscale ocean flows on major patterns of multidecadal variability. We find that resolving mesoscale ocean flows both improves the characteristics of the modes of variability with respect to observations and increases the amplitude of the heat content variability in the individual ocean basins. The effect on the global mean surface temperature is relatively minor.

André Jüling et al.

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Short summary
On top of forced changes such as human-caused global warming, unforced climate variability exists. Most multidecadal variability (MV) involves in the oceans, but current climate models use non-tubulent, coarse resolution oceans. We investigate the effect of resolving some important turbulent ocean features on MV. We find that ocean heat content and ocean-atmosphere flux MV is much more pronounced in the higher resolution model, but this barely affects global mean surface temperature MV.
On top of forced changes such as human-caused global warming, unforced climate variability...
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