EGU23-12899, updated on 09 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A downscaling exercise for the Adriatic Sea in a perfect model approach

Renata Tatsch Eidt1,2, Giorgia Verri1, Vladimir Santos da Costa1, Murat Gunduz1,3, and Antonio Navarra1,2
Renata Tatsch Eidt et al.
  • 1Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, Italy (
  • 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna, Italy
  • 3Institute of Marine Sciences and Technology, Dokuz Eylül University, Turkey

In this study, the predictability of the coastal ocean is assessed in a downscaling exercise for the Adriatic Sea using NEMO 3.6 over a 19 years’ time window (2001-2019). Inspired by the perfect model approach (Denis et al. 2002, De Elia et al. 2002) using a dynamical downscaling setup, a high resolution (2 km) experiment (Big Brother – BB) for the entire Adriatic Sea is used as the “true” reference for a smaller domain, downscaling experiment (Little Brother – LB) in the Northern Adriatic subbasin. The LB experiment has the same horizontal resolution as the BB (2 km) and is downscaled from a low resolution parent model (6 km), in a ratio of 1/3 resolution jump. The 2 km horizontal resolution fits the purpose of reaching an eddy-permitting grid spacing in the Adriatic basin (Masina and Pinardi, 1994; Cushman-Roisin et al. 2002).

Power spectral density analysis is used to evaluate the kinetic energy variance on the frequency domain among the experiments and compare them with the BB experiment. Overall, the LB is more energetic than the parent model, and the timing of the peaks of energy coincides with the ones of the BB. The energy on the 1 year signal is higher in the LB than the BB. The LB can recover a significant amount of energy for all peaks, with special attention to the 6 months period, which is poorly captured by the parent model. The 4 months signal is equally represented in BB and LB, while there is an underestimation of the 6 months signal of LB with respect to BB. Energy in the LB does not deviate from BB more than ~20% in the low frequencies and ~10% in the high frequencies, while the parent model presents in a whole lower energy than the BB, with higher differences on the low frequencies.

The Northern Adriatic circulation is largely influenced by the surface buoyancy flux and the wind forcing (Cessi et al., 2014), which play a significant role in the energy budget and the anti-estuarine overturning circulation of the Adriatic basin. Differences between LB and parent model results may be associated with the energy cascade due to interactions of internal dynamic processes which are differently represented at different resolutions. Differences between LB and BB results are the effect of the downscaling method and the horizontal resolution ratio between the parent model and the nested LB.

Moreover, the analysis of the wavenumber spectra allows a clear overview of the energy distribution in the space domain among the experiments and the representation of small-scale features in the LB. Small scale features less than twice the grid spacing (~12 km) are absent in the low-resolution parent model outputs. Therefore, the comparison with the true reference, BB, reveals the energy spectrum of the parent model solves only the larger scales, while the downscaling LB can recover the smaller scales absent in the initial and lateral boundary conditions.

How to cite: Tatsch Eidt, R., Verri, G., Santos da Costa, V., Gunduz, M., and Navarra, A.: A downscaling exercise for the Adriatic Sea in a perfect model approach, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12899,, 2023.