For the open session, we welcome contributions on all aspects of ocean circulation from observations, models and theory, from regional to global scales, from air-sea exchanges to abyssal mixing. We particularly encourage studies on the interannual to decadal variability and the internal and externally forced physical processes in the ocean. Because accurate estimation of energy and mass fluxes is critical for the closure of the ocean energy budget and the ocean’s impact on the atmosphere, this session also welcomes works dealing with processes at the ocean’s boundaries. This includes studies focusing on the fundamentals of air-sea physics, on the ocean’s interaction with the cryosphere, as well as physical processes occurring at topographic boundaries. As usual the OS1.1 session also welcomes submissions that do not fit to any of the other special sessions; this includes equatorial oceanography and the Pacific Ocean.

Convener: Alejandra Sanchez-FranksECSECS | Co-conveners: Sophie Cravatte, Maria Paz Chidichimo, Clément VicECSECS
| Attendance Mon, 04 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)

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Chat time: Monday, 4 May 2020, 08:30–10:15

D2733 |
Lionel Renault, Sebastien Masson, and James C. McWilliams

In the past few years, it has been demonstrated that the regional Ocean-Atmosphere interactions can strongly modulate the variability and the mean physical and biogeochemical state of the ocean. In this presentation, the focus will be on the influence of the surface current on the atmosphere (i.e., current feedback). Based on satellite observations and using a set of regional ocean and atmosphere coupled simulations carried out over different regions encompassing a realistic Tropical Channel, and Eastern and Western boundary current systems, we will illustrate to which extent those interactions can control the exchange of energy between the Ocean and the Atmosphere, the mean, mesoscale, and submesoscale circulations, and the Western Boundary Currents Dynamics. Implications for climate, thermal air-sea interactions and how to force an oceanic model is furthermore discussed.

How to cite: Renault, L., Masson, S., and McWilliams, J. C.: The Current Feedback to the Atmosphere: Implications for the Ocean Dynamics, Air-Sea Interactions, and Climate., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13372, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13372, 2020.

D2734 |
Robert E. Todd

Subtropical western boundary currents play a key role in ocean energy storage and transport and are characterized by elevated mean and eddy kinetic energy. Due to a lack of spatially broad subsurface observations of velocity, most studies of kinetic energy in western boundary currents have relied on satellite-based estimates of surface geostrophic velocity. Since 2015, Spray autonomous underwater gliders have completed more than 175 crossings of the Gulf Stream distributed over more than 1,500 km in along-stream extent between between Miami, FL (~25°N) and Cape Cod, MA (~40°N). The observations include roughly 14,000 absolute ocean velocity profiles in the upper 1000 m. Novel three-dimensional estimates of mean and eddy kinetic energy are constructed along the western margin of the North Atlantic at 10-m vertical resolution. The horizontal and vertical distributions of mean and eddy kinetic energy are analyzed in light of existing independent estimates and theoretical expectations. Observation-based estimates of mean and eddy-kinetic energy such as these serve as important metrics for validation of global circulation models that must adequately represent western boundary currents.

How to cite: Todd, R. E.: Mean and eddy kinetic energy of the Gulf Stream from multiyear underwater glider surveys, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3745, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3745, 2020.

D2735 |
Neesha Schnepf, Manoj Nair, Jakub Velimsky, and Natalie Thomas

Marine electromagnetic (EM) signals largely depend on three factors: oceanic transport (i.e., depth-integrated flow), the local main magnetic field, and the local seawater conductivity (which depends on the local temperature and salinity). Thus, there is interest in using seafloor telecommunication cables to isolate marine EM signals and study ocean processes because these cables measure voltage differences between their two ends. Data from such cables can provide information on the depth-integrated transport occurring in the water column above the cable. However, these time-varying data are a superposition of all EM fields present at the observatory, no matter what source or process created the field. The main challenge in using such submarine voltage cables to study ocean circulation is properly isolating its signal.


Our study utilizes voltage data from retired seaoor telecommunication cables in the Pacific Ocean to examine whether such cables could be used to monitor transport on large-oceanic scales. We process the cable data to isolate the seasonal and monthly variations, and evaluate the correlation between the processed data and numerical predictions of the electric field induced by ocean circulation. We find that the correlation between cable voltage data and numerical predictions strongly depends on both the strength and coherence of the transport owing across the cable. The cable within the Kuroshio Current had the highest correlation between data and predictions, whereas two of the cables in the Eastern Pacific gyre (a region with both low transport values and interfering transport signals across the cable) did not have any clear correlation between data and predictions. Meanwhile, a third cable also located in the Eastern Pacific gyre did have correlation between data and predictions, because although the transport values were low, it was located in a region of coherent transport flow across the cable. While much improvement is needed before utilizing seafloor voltage cables to study and monitor oceanic transport across wide oceanic areas, we believe that the answer to our title's questions is yes: seafloor voltage cables can eventually be used to study large-scale transport.

How to cite: Schnepf, N., Nair, M., Velimsky, J., and Thomas, N.: Can seafloor voltage cables be used to study large scale transport? An investigation in the Pacific Ocean., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-72, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-72, 2019.

D2736 |
Fanglou Liao, Xinfeng Liang, Yun Li, and Andreas Thurnherr

Western boundary currents (WBC), fast flowing currents on the western side of ocean basins, transport a huge amount of warm water poleward, affect the atmospheric conditions along their paths, take up a large amount of carbon dioxide, and regulate the global climate (Minobe et al. 2008; Takahashi et al. 2009; Wu et al. 2012). In contrast to their widely examined horizontal motions, much less attention has been paid to the vertical motions associated with the WBC systems. Here, we examined the spatial and temporal characteristics of vertical motions associated with the major WBC systems by analyzing vertical velocity estimates from five ocean synthesis products and one eddy-permitting ocean simulation over an overlapping period from Jan 1992 to Dec 2009. Robust and intense subsurface upwelling occurs in the five major subtropical WBC systems. These upwelling systems together with the vast downwelling inside subtropical ocean basins form basin-scale zonal overturning circulations and play a crucial role in the vertical transport of ocean properties and tracers inside the global ocean. Also, the vertical motions in the Kuroshio Current and the Eastern Australian Current regions display robust interannual and decadal oscillations, which are well correlated with El Niño–Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation, respectively. This study unveils an overlooked role of the WBCs in the subsurface oceanic vertical transport and is expected to be a starting point for more in-depth investigations on their dynamics and roles in the climate system.

How to cite: Liao, F., Liang, X., Li, Y., and Thurnherr, A.: Intense Subsurface Upwelling Associated with Major Western Boundary Currents, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6214, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6214, 2020.

D2737 |
Valentina Volkova, Alexander Demidov, and Fedor Gippius

Despite the fact that there are numerous estimates of the Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) formation and transport, its evolution and distribution pathways are still debatable (Morozov E.G. et al., 2010).

The main task of this work was to identify the structure and transport of deep and bottom water mass of the fracture zones (7 40', Vernadsky and Doldrums). The research is based on new data (multibeam bottom relief, temperature, salinity, velocity) obtained during the research cruise on the RV "Akademik Nikolaj Strakhov" in October-November 2019 and WODB18 historical data.

The main result of the research is proper estimation of the AABW and LNADW transport, which takes into consideration the influence of fracture zone morphometry. Accordingly, the preliminary circulation scheme of water masses is obtained.

How to cite: Volkova, V., Demidov, A., and Gippius, F.: The features of Antarctic Bottom Water in the fracture zones at 7-10 deg. N of the Mid-Atlantic ridge , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19271, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-19271, 2020.

D2738 |
Carine van der Boog, Julie D Pietrzak, Henk A Dijkstra, and Caroline A Katsman

Thermohaline staircases are stepped structures in the temperature and salinity stratification that result from double diffusive processes. In the open ocean, double diffusive processes enhance the downgradient diapycnal heat transfer compared to turbulent mixing. However, in combination with salinity effects, the resulting buoyancy flux within the thermohaline staircases is counter gradient. This vertical density transport strengthens the stratification and, consequently, affects the density of the water masses above and below the staircase layer. Although 44 percent of the world’s oceans is susceptible to double diffusion and thermohaline staircases are ubiquitous in these regions, the impact of double diffusion on diapycnal heat transfer and on water mass transformation has not been quantified yet. Here, we analyse a dataset of Argo float profiles to obtain a global overview of the occurrence of thermohaline staircases and to estimate their impact on diapycnal heat transfer and water mass transformation. Several regions with a high staircase occurrence are identified. Besides the well-known regions in the Caribbean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the subtropical Atlantic Ocean, our analysis reveals a new staircase region in the Indian Ocean. Using this global overview, we estimate, for the first time, the contribution of downgradient diapycnal heat transfer by the staircases. It appears that this contribution is very low compared to the dissipation required to maintain the observed temperature stratification. However, each staircase region can potentially impact the global circulation by affecting the density of the water masses above and below. In particular, the staircase region in the Indian Ocean overlies the waters of the Tasman Leakage. These waters flow westward from Australia towards the Agulhas region and affect the properties of waters entering the Atlantic Ocean. This implies that the vertical flux of salt into the Tasman Leakage waters induced by the presence of thermohaline staircases above can impact the salt transport into the Atlantic Ocean, which in turn is expected to impact the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. 

How to cite: van der Boog, C., Pietrzak, J. D., Dijkstra, H. A., and Katsman, C. A.: The impact of thermohaline staircases: estimates from a global analysis of Argo floats, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13823, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13823, 2020.

D2739 |
Marcus Dengler, Martin Visbeck, Toste Tanhua, Jan Lüdke, and Madelaine Freund

In the framework of the Peruvian Oxygen minimum zone System Tracer Release Experiment (POSTRE) about 70 kg of trifluoromethyl sulfur pentafluoride (SF5CF3) was injected into the bottom boundary layer of the upper Peruvian continental slope at 250m depth in October 2015. Three different injection sites, at 10°45’S, 12°20’S and 14°S were selected. At the tracer release sites and due to tide-topography interaction, mixing above the upper continental slope of Peru was intensified. Turbulent dissipation rates increase by about an order of magnitude in lower 50 to 100m above the bottom. During previous tracer release experiments, where tracer was injected into the stratified mixing layer above the bottom boundary layer, a change of the center of mass toward higher densities resulted. Newer theories suggest that this diapycnal downwelling is balanced by a diapycnal upwelling within the bottom boundary layer. Indeed, during the tracer survey it was found that the density of tracer’s center of mass had decreased by 0.13 kg m-3. This corresponds to an upward displacement of 70-100m. Using microsctructure shear data from 8 cruises, we obtain a diapycnal velocity of about 0.5 m day-1 within the bottom boundary layer. This suggests that on average, the tracer was trapped within the bottom boundary layer for a period between 1.5 and 3 month. Overall, our tracer study provides the first observational evidence of diapycnal upwelling occurring within the bottom boundary layer of a bottom enhanced mixing environment and supports recent ideas of a vigorous global overturning circulation.

How to cite: Dengler, M., Visbeck, M., Tanhua, T., Lüdke, J., and Freund, M.: Observational evidence of diapycnal upwelling in a bottom enhanced mixing environment, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11565, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11565, 2020.

D2740 |
Rémy Asselot, Frank Lunkeit, Phil Holden, and Inga Hense

Oceanic phytoplankton absorbing solar radiation can influence the upper ocean physics. This process is called phytoplankton light absorption. Previous studies indicate that phytoplankton light absorption significantly impacts the oceanic heat distribution and, if taken into account in an Earth System model, can lead to different climates under similar primary production. However, the dominant processes responsible for these drastic changes in atmospheric temperature have not been yet identified. Phytoplankton light absorption increases the sea surface temperature, therefore altering the exchange of heat between the ocean and the atmosphere. Additionally, phytoplankton light absorption indirectly modifies the ocean carbon cycle and thus the CO2 flux into the atmosphere. To shed light on these aspects, we use an Earth System model of intermediate complexity coupled to an ecosystem model (EcoGENIE). By running a suite of experiements, we determine which fluxes are most important in controlling atmospheric temperature. Here, we present first results of our study.

How to cite: Asselot, R., Lunkeit, F., Holden, P., and Hense, I.: Ocean-atmosphere fluxes of carbon dioxide and heat in response to phytoplankton light absorption, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5207, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-5207, 2020.

D2741 |
Svein Østerhus, Rebecca Woodgate, Héðinn Valdimarsson, Bill Turrell, Laura de Steur, Detlef Quadfasel, Steffen M. Olsen, Martin Moritz, Craig M. Lee, Karin Margretha Larsen, Steingrímur Jónsson, Clare Johnson, Kerstin Jochumsen, Bogi Hansen, Beth Curry, Stuart Cunningham, and Barbara Berx

Conditions in the Arctic are in part driven by the ocean state in the Arctic Mediterranean (AM), the collective name for the Arctic Ocean, the Nordic Seas, and their adjacent shelf seas. Exchange between the lower latitude ocean basins and this region occurs through the Bering Strait (Pacific inflow) and through the passages across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge (Atlantic inflow). These waters are subsequently modified within the AM. The modified waters leave the AM in several flow branches, which are grouped into two different categories: (1) overflow of dense water through the deep passages across the Greenland-Scotland Ridge, and (2) outflow of light water (surface outflow) on both sides of Greenland. These exchanges transport heat and salt into and out of the AM and are important for conditions in the AM. They are also part of the global ocean circulation and climate system. Attempts to quantify the transports by various methods have been made for many years, but only recently, the observational coverage has become sufficiently complete to allow an integrated assessment of the AM-exchanges based solely on observations.

In this EGU contribution, we focus on the observations (incl. volume transport time series) of all the main AM-exchange branches collected in the last 20 to 30 years.

How to cite: Østerhus, S., Woodgate, R., Valdimarsson, H., Turrell, B., de Steur, L., Quadfasel, D., Olsen, S. M., Moritz, M., Lee, C. M., Larsen, K. M., Jónsson, S., Johnson, C., Jochumsen, K., Hansen, B., Curry, B., Cunningham, S., and Berx, B.: Arctic Mediterranean Exchanges: A consistent volume budget and trends in transports from two decades of observations, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11076, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11076, 2020.

D2742 |
Nikita Sandalyuk

The Lofoten Basin is one of the most dynamically unstable regions of the North Atlantic and represents a ‘hot spot’ of the mesoscale eddy activity in the Nordic Seas.  A quasi-stationary, deep, anticyclonic eddy is located in the central part of the basin. One of the key features of the Lofoten Basin circulation is a separation of eddies from the main branch of Norwegian current and their westward propagation towards the central part of the basin. Because of these processes, warm and saline Atlantic waters are transported to the deeper part of the basin. Understanding the physical processes responsible for the water mass transformations in this area is of particular interest in order to apprehend the climate of the region.

In this study we obtain three-dimensional structures of cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies for the LB region by combining the observational data set covering the 2000-2017 period with satellite altimetry data. The results reveal that significant eddy-induced anomalies are concentrated within a distance of 1 radius of the composite AE and CE and extend vertically to the depth of 1000 m. The core of the composite AE is located in the 200-400 m while the composite CE has a double-core structure with the maximum anomalies centered in the upper layer above 100 m and a negative peak located at 700 m. The difference in the structure of AE and CE is referred to the upwelling and downwelling processes in the AEs and CEs respectively.

The study also provides an estimation of the depth-integrated heat and salt transport as well as zonal volume eddy-induced transport. Each AE (CE) generates volume transport of 1.98 Sv (1.87 Sv), heat transport of 2.9*1014 W (-8.3*104 W) and salt transport of 2.3*106 kg/s (-1.6*1013 kg/s).  Zonal eddy-induced transport has a general westward propagation direction reaching maximum of 0.6 Sv in the north-eastern part of the study area. The northward transport takes place predominantly in the southern and eastern parts of the study region and has significantly smaller magnitude. 


This work was supported by Russian Science Foundation [project № 18-17-00027];

How to cite: Sandalyuk, N.: Thermohaline structure and transport of mesoscale eddies in the Lofoten Basin from in situ and altimetry data, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11322, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11322, 2020.

D2743 |
Callum Rollo, Karen Heywood, Rob Hall, Eric Desmond Barton, and Jan Kaiser

We present results from a 2 month deployment of an ocean glider over the Northwestern Iberian Margin. Glider observations during the exceptionally strong 2010 summer upwelling season resolved the evolution of physical and biogeochemical variables during two upwelling events. Upwelling brought low oxygen Eastern North Atlantic Central Water from 190 m depth onto the shelf up to a depth of 50 m. During the two observed periods of upwelling,
equatorward transport over the shelf increased from 0.13 (± 0.04) Sv to 0.18 (± 0.08) Sv and a poleward jet developed over the shelf-break. The persistent upwelling favourable winds maintained equatorward flow on the outer shelf for two months with no reversals during relaxation periods, a phenomenon not previously observed. During upwelling, near surface chlorophyll a concentration increased by more than 6 mg m-3 . Dissolved oxygen concentration in the near surface increased by more than 40 μmol kg-1 , 6 days after the chlorophyll a maximum.

This was the first and, to date, only deployment of a glider over the North West Iberian Margin. A single glider was able to occupy a cross shelf section for two months, without the need for a costly ship based campaign. This presentation highlights some of the challenges of using gliders to study shelf break regions.

How to cite: Rollo, C., Heywood, K., Hall, R., Barton, E. D., and Kaiser, J.: Glider observations of the Northwestern Iberian Margin during an exceptional summer upwelling season, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-267, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-267, 2019.

D2744 |
Gabriel Wolf, Tailleux Remi, Ferreira David, and Kuhlbrodt Till

Potential temperature/salinity (theta/S) characteristics of water masses in the ocean interior can often be traced back over long distances to their source regions. In practice, understanding how water masses are altered by interior mixing and stirring requires a detailed understanding of the interior pathways linking fluid parcels to their source regions. So far, oceanographers have generally assumed that these pathways are strongly constrained to take place on potential density surfaces of some kind, of which the most commonly employed have been the Jackett and McDougall neutral density variable and sigma2, the potential density referenced to 2000 dbar. Because sigma2 is a somewhat ad-hoc and artificial construct, the more physically-based neutral density variable has been widely assumed to represent the most accurate variable to describe interior pathways, but the analysis of van Sebille et al. (2011) intriguingly suggests otherwise. In order to shed light on the issue, this work hypothesizes that if neutral surfaces were optimal to describe lateral stirring in the ocean, they should be the surfaces along which the observed spread in potential temperature and salinity anomalies should be minimum, since lateral stirring is about 7 orders of magnitude more vigorous in the lateral directions than perpendicular to them. Surprisingly, it is found that this is actually never the case in ocean regions with positive density ratios, traditionally associated with double-diffusive regimes. In those regions, indeed, it is always possible to find material surfaces, not necessarily definable in terms of potential density, along which the spread is reduced for both potential temperature and salinity compared to that over neutral surfaces. In doubly-stable regions, on the other hand, it is not possible to find material variables able to simultaneously reduce both the spread in potential temperature and salinity compared to that over neutral surfaces. Given the widespread nature of double-diffusive regimes in the world oceans, especially in the Atlantic Ocean, these results have strong implications for the ability of ocean climate models to accurately simulate water masses, as it is unclear how to maintain water masses properties by mixing vigorously along directions along which the spread in theta/S is far from its minimum.

How to cite: Wolf, G., Remi, T., David, F., and Till, K.: Does lateral stirring really take place along neutral surfaces in double-diffusive regions of the oceans?, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7494, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7494, 2020.

D2745 |
Achim Wirth

 The input of mechanical power to the ocean due to the surface wind-stress, in regions which correspond to different regimes of ocean dynamics, is considered using data from satellites observations. Its dependence on the coarse-graining range of the atmospheric and oceanic velocity in space from 0.5° to 10° and time from 6h to 40 days is determined.  In the area of the Gulf Stream and the Kuroshio extensions the dependence of the power-input on space-time coarse-graining  varies over tenfold for the coarse-graining considered. It decreases over twofold for the Gulf Stream extension and threefold for the Kuroshio extension, when the coarse-graining length-scale passes from a few degrees to 0.5° at a temporal coarse-graining scale of a few days. It increases over threefold in the Gulf Stream and the Kuroshio extensions when the coarse-graining passes from several days to 6h at a spatial coarse graining of a few degrees. The power input is found to increase monotonically with shorter coarse-graining in time. Its variation with coarse graining in space has no definite sign. Results show that including the dynamics at scales below a few degrees reduces considerably the power input by air-sea interaction in regions of strongly non-linear ocean currents.
  When the ocean velocities are not considered in the shear calculation the power-input is considerably (up to threefold) increased. The dependence of the power input on coarse graining in space and time is close to being multiplicatively separable in all regions and for most of the coarse-graining domain considered.

How to cite: Wirth, A.: On the length and time scales of the power supply to the ocean between the meso-scale and the synoptic-scale, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3409, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3409, 2020.

D2746 |
Song Li, Nuno Serra, and Detlef Stammer

Despite recent progress in measuring the ocean eddy field with satellite missions at the mesoscale (order of 100 km), containing the major fraction of ocean kinetic energy, many questions still remain regarding the generation, conversion and dissipation mechanisms of eddy kinetic energy (Ke). In this work, we use the output from an idealized 500-m resolution ocean numerical simulation to study the conversion of Ke in the absence and presence of wind stress forcing. In contrast to the result of the unforced run, Ke increased approximately nine times in the mixed layer and considerably in the pycnocline in the forced run. Eddies and filaments were seen to re-stratify the mixed layer and wind-induced turbulence at the base of the mixed layer promoted its deepening and therefore dramatically enhanced the exchange between Ke and eddy available potential energy (Pe). The wind stress forcing additionally affected the conversion processes between Pe and mean kinetic energy (Km). The wind also excited inertial and superinertial motions throughout almost the whole water column. Although those motions played a major role in the conversion between Pe and Ke, the net effect by inertial and superinertial flows was almost null. In addition, we found an asymmetric character in kinetic energy conversion in eddies. Cyclonic and anti-cyclonic eddies showed different behaviour regarding conversion from Pe and Ke, which was positive on the high Ke part in the anti-cyclonic eddy but negative in the cyclonic eddy.

How to cite: Li, S., Serra, N., and Stammer, D.: Kinetic Energy Conversion in A Wind-forced Submesoscale Flow, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-5657, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-5657, 2020.

D2747 |
Alice Novello, Dominique Lefevre, Nadia LoBue, Ivan Rodero, Raul Bardaji, and Mathilde Cannat

The European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water column Observatory (EMSO) consists, to date, of 11 regional multiple sensor-equipped platforms distributed around Europe from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea. Each system collects multidisciplinary measurements in the water column as well as at the seafloor addressing several critical questions related to ocean health, climate change, marine ecosystems and natural hazards. EMSO is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) since 2016, and one of the many challenges has been to design new online services promoting marine data produced by the whole network. Here, we report on an on-going activity to compile, control and deliver quality controlled temperature and salinity data and metadata gathered through the EMSO network from the sea surface down to 4000m. As part of this effort, we work on the development of online tools for temperature and salinity data visualization and knowledge discovery based on widely used software components such as dashboards. These services aim to support the stakeholders' needs (from scientists and industries to institutions and policymakers) by providing relevant information on multidisciplinary oceanographic data. They also highlight the importance of filling the knowledge gap on the abyssal ocean by delivering useful deep long-term series necessary to assess the impact of key processes on global issues such as climate change and marine ecosystem sustainability.

How to cite: Novello, A., Lefevre, D., LoBue, N., Rodero, I., Bardaji, R., and Cannat, M.: Towards new online access services for the EMSO ERIC temperature and salinity data, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13466, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13466, 2020.

D2748 |
Michaël Ablain, Benoit Meyssignac, Alejandro Blazquez, Marti Florence, Rémi Jugier, and Jérôme Benveniste

The Earth Energy Imbalance (EEI) is a key indicator to understand the Earth’s changing. However, measuring this indicator is challenging since it is a globally integrated variable whose variations are small, of the order of several tenth of W.m-2, compared to the amount of energy entering and leaving the climate system of ~340 W.m-2. Recent studies suggest that the EEI response to anthropogenic GHG and aerosols emissions is 0.5-1 W.m-2. It implies that an accuracy of <0.3 W.m-2 at decadal time scales is necessary to evaluate the long term mean EEI associated with anthropogenic forcing. Ideally an accuracy of <0.1 W.m-2 at decadal time scales is desirable if we want to monitor future changes in EEI. The ocean heat content (OHC) is a very good proxy to estimate EEI as ocean concentrates the vast majority of the excess of energy (~93%) associated with EEI. Several methods exist to estimate OHC:

  • the direct measurement of in situ temperature based on temperature/Salinity profiles (e.g. ARGO floats),
  • the measurement of the net ocean surface heat fluxes from space (CERES),
  • the estimate from ocean reanalyses that assimilate observations from both satellite and in situ instruments,
  • the measurement of the thermal expansion of the ocean from space based on differences between the total sea-level content derived from altimetry measurements and the mass content derived from GRACE data (noted “Altimetry-GRACE”).

To date, the best results are given by the first method based on ARGO network. However ARGO measurements do no sample deep ocean below 2000 m depth and marginal seas as well as the ocean below sea ice. Re-analysis provides a more complete estimation but large biases in the polar oceans and spurious drifts in the deep ocean mask a significant part of the OHC signal related to EEI. The method based on estimation of ocean net heat fluxes (CERES) is not appropriate for OHC calculation due to a too strong uncertainty (±15 W.m-2). 

In the MOHeaCAN project supported by ESA, we are being developed the “Altimetry-GRACE” approach  which is promising since it provides consistent spatial and temporal sampling of the ocean, it samples the entire global ocean, except for polar regions, and it provides estimates of the OHC over the ocean’s entire depth. Consequently, it complements the OHC estimation from ARGO.  However, to date the uncertainty in OHC from this method is close to 0.5 W.m-2, and thus greater than the requirement of 0.3 W.m-2 needed to a good EEI estimation. Therefore the scientific objective of the MOHeaCan project is  to improve these estimates :

How to cite: Ablain, M., Meyssignac, B., Blazquez, A., Florence, M., Jugier, R., and Benveniste, J.: A new project to monitor the Ocean Heat Content and the Earth Energy imbalance from space: MOHeaCAN, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-18017, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-18017, 2020.

D2749 |
Paul Barker and Trevor McDougall

Isopycnally averaged hydrographic data gives results that are significantly different to the standard method of averaging at constant depth. The act of averaging isopycnally ensures that water masses are neither created or destroyed.  We average using the weighted least squares quadratic (or LOESS) fitting method of Chelton and Schlax (1994) and Ridgway et al. (2002) along appropriately defined density surfaces.  This produces an gridded oceanographic atlas that is composed of the Fourier coefficients of the mean temporal trend, the strength of the semi-annual and seasonal cycle allowing the user to reconstruct a climatology at any temporal resolution. Initially we are producing an atlas consisting of Absolute Salinty and Conservative Temperature but in the future we aim to include nutrient data.

How to cite: Barker, P. and McDougall, T.: GOANA, a Global Ocean Atlas, Neutrally Averaged, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-6504, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-6504, 2020.

D2750 |
Kyung-Hee Oh, Seok Lee, Hong Sik Min, and Sok-Kuh Kang

Sea water temperature and salinity measurements have been collected onboard in September in the Philippine seas of the western North Pacific. This area is close to typhoon occurrence area and is the path through which developed typhoons pass, and also large and small eddies are developed. Therefore variability of sea water property is large.  As a result of analysis, the seawater properties of the upper water showed a big difference before and after the typhoon. After the typhoon, surface water temperature dropped by about 1 degree C and salinity by 1 psu.  Mixed layer became deeper, and changes in seawater properties occurred throughout the upper layers. The depth of the mixed layer was largely different by more than 30-50m, especially the water temperature was changed more than 3 degree C at the depth below thermocline. Real-time sea surface water temperature and salinity measurements show more easily identify the physical property change of sea surface water before and after typhoon.

How to cite: Oh, K.-H., Lee, S., Min, H. S., and Kang, S.-K.: Variability of seawater property after typhoon passage in the Philippine sea of the western North Pacific, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13483, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13483, 2020.

D2751 |
Subthermocline eddies in the Philippine Sea in 2017 to 2018
Chang-Woong Shin and Jae Hak Lee
D2752 |
Navin Chandra and Vimlesh Pant

Eddies are integral part of ocean circulation. They play an important role in energy transfer. The surface kinetic energy in eddies can be ten times higher than the energy of the current through which these are generated. Eddies influence the thermodynamic characteristics of the upper-ocean. Oceanic eddies trap and transport hot (cold) water in the core of an anticyclonic (cyclonic) eddy. Therefore, these eddies can modify the thermal structure by the advection of temperature anomalies and its subsequent mixing. Generation of eddies takes place mainly due to the baroclinic instability of the ocean. However, some of the eddies may form due to coastal and bathymetrical geometry. The Bay of Bengal (BoB) is an enclosed basin in the northern Indian Ocean (IO). The BoB exhibits unique physical and dynamical properties due to surplus low-saline waters and shallow mixed layer. It observes seasonal variation of wind and changes in the surface current pattern. Major rivers originating from the Himalayan glaciers drain into the BoB throughout the year with a peak in July-October. The riverine freshwater together with strong post-monsoon (October-November) coastal current generate complex and turbulent surface current pattern with a large number of eddies in the BoB. The wind forcing, coastal currents, and bathymetry make favorable conditions for the generation of eddies in the BoB. In the present study, a numerical ocean model Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) used to simulate the mesoscale eddies in the BoB. The ROMS model uses sigma vertical coordinates which helps in taking account of the effects of coastal and bathymetrical structures on surface circulation and eddy generation. The model results are verified with the available observations. For the detection and tracking of eddies at the surface, both the geometrical and dynamical methods are used. The geometrical method is based on the identification of local minima and maxima of dynamic sea surface height. Whereas, the dynamical method utilizes current turbulences arising from strain or vorticity to identify eddies. Using model simulations, the cyclonic and anticyclonic eddies are identified in the BoB. The life span (time period) and the kinetic energy of individual eddies are calculated. The spatial and temporal distribution of eddies and their energetics in the BoB are discussed. Further, the propagation tracks of individual eddies are estimated.

How to cite: Chandra, N. and Pant, V.: Eddies and their energetics in the Bay of Bengal , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1879, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1879, 2019.

D2753 |
Yanxin Wang, Karen Heywood, David Stevens, and Gillian Damerell

Sea surface temperature (SST) seasonal extrema are important for water mass formation, intensification of tropical cyclones and coral bleaching, so should be well-represented in models used for future climate projections. Typically, climate model evaluations focus on annual or longer-term mean SST. However, accurate mean SST does not guarantee accurate seasonal extrema or annual cycles. Models that have no biases in mean SST can have biases in seasonal extrema and annual cycles, and vice versa.

Here we assess seasonal extrema in a selection of CMIP6 model historical runs (including BCC-CSM2-MR, CanESM5, CESM2, GFDL-CM4 and GISS-E2-1-G), averaged over 1981-2010, against the World Ocean Atlas (WOA18) observational climatology.  The magnitude and pattern of SST biases for seasonal extrema vary from model to model. GFDL-CM4 and CESM2 simulate SST extrema reasonably well, while BCC-CSM2-MR and GISS-E2-1-G have obvious deficiencies. The global area-weighted root mean square (RMS) difference from WOA18 is larger than 2oC in BCC-CSM2-MR and GISS-E2-1-G, and their common maximum bias (larger than 5oC) is the cold bias located in the subpolar North Pacific, Greenland Sea and Norwegian Sea. The model biases of maximum SST (summer SST) and minimum SST (winter SST) are in some cases different, leading to biased SST annual cycles. The SST biases are typically smaller for summer, except for models with significant winter cold bias in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere (BCC-CSM2-MR and GISS-E2-1-G). Generally speaking, the bias of the SST annual cycle is smaller than that of seasonal extrema; models that are too cold in winter are typically also too cold in summer. In eastern boundary regions, the models have too small annual cycles. In these regions, the warm bias of winter SST is less than the warm bias of summer SST. This is because the warm bias in models due to poorly captured stratocumulus can be compensated by coastal upwelling, which cools the sea surface more in summer than in winter.

We note that extra attention should be paid when evaluating SST extrema in some polar areas as the observational climatology there can be unrealistic, particularly in winter.

How to cite: Wang, Y., Heywood, K., Stevens, D., and Damerell, G.: Representation of the Seasonal Cycle of sea surface temperature in CMIP6 models, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-702, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-702, 2019.

D2754 |
Xueming Zhu, Hui Wang, and Ziqing Zu

The South China Sea (SCS) ocean circulations numerical model has been build up based on ROMS with high horizontal resolution. It had been operated in NMEFC to provide daily updated the hydrodynamic forecasting in SCS for the future 5 days since 2013, and named as the SCS operational Oceanography Forecasting System (SCSOFS). Recently, a few systematic optimizations have been carried out to the configuration of the physical model to improve SCSOFS forecast skill. For example, the differential schemes of horizontal and vertical advection of tracers are changed from 4th-order centered to 4th-ordered Akima, the schemes of horizontal mixing of tracers are changed from along epineutral surfaces to along geopotential surfaces, in order to correct for the spurious diapycnal diffusion of the advection operator in terrain-following coordinates, which could cause anomaly temperature increasing about 1 centigrade in deep layer. The method of sea surface atmospheric forcing is changed from direct forcing to bulk formula, by introducing the negative feedback effects between ocean and atmosphere, in order to improve forecast skill of sea surface temperature.

How to cite: Zhu, X., Wang, H., and Zu, Z.: The improvements to the numerical model of South China Sea Ocean Circulations, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9726, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-9726, 2020.

D2755 |
Jennifer Mecking and Sybren Drijfhout

Ocean heat and freshwater transports play an important role in today’s climate system.  The Atlantic meridional heat transport transports 1.2 PW of heat northward leading to the warm climate we experience in Europe today, while the freshwater transport due to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is often used as an indicator for the stability of the AMOC.  Future climate projections show that the AMOC is expected to weaken over the next several decades.  These changes to the AMOC as well as other circulations changes will not only impact the heat and freshwater transports in the Atlantic but also the temperature and salinity structure.  Using both CMIP5 and CMIP6 data this study untangles the impacts of velocity changes versus temperature/ salinity in future climate projections on Atlantic heat and freshwater transports.  Initial results show that changes in velocity dominate heat transport changes while the changes in salinity structure play a large role in freshwater transports with the impact of velocity changes being latitude and model dependent.

How to cite: Mecking, J. and Drijfhout, S.: Transient Response of Atlantic Heat and Freshwater Transports in Future Climate Scenarios, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-7896, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-7896, 2020.

D2756 |
Huichang Jiang and Hongzhou Xu

As an important branch of the global overturning circulation, the deep western boundary current (DWBC) in the Pacific was poorly understood due to sparse observations. Six state-of-the-art global ocean model outputs were used herein to evaluate their performance for simulating the DWBC in the Melanesian Basin (MB) and Central Pacific Basin (CPB). These model outputs were compared to the historical observations, in aspects of water-mass characteristics, spatial structure and meridional volume transport of the DWBC, and seasonal variation. The results showed that most of the models reproduced the DWBC in the two basins well. Besides OFES with obvious cold and salty biases, the other models had minor deviations of the temperature and salinity in the deep layer. These models can reconstruct the spatial structure of the DWBC in detail and simulate appropriate transports of the eastern branch DWBC, ranging from 6.36 Sv to 8.55 Sv. But the western branch DWBC was underestimated in the models except HYCOM (4.48 Sv). HYCOM performed best for the DWBC with a whole transport of 12.84 Sv. Analysis of the temperature and salinity from Levitus data demonstrates the existence of annual and semi-annual cycles in the deep water of the MB and CPB, respectively, with warmer and saltier water mass in summer and autumn. Overall, the six models have good abilities to simulate the seasonal variations of temperature and volume transport of the DWBC in the Pacific. The seasonal signals probably originated from the DWBC upstream and propagated along its pathway.

How to cite: Jiang, H. and Xu, H.: Evaluation of global ocean model on simulating deep western boundary current in the Pacific, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8152, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8152, 2020.