Enhancing the resolution of sea ice in long-term global ocean general circulation model (gcm) integrations
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Open water in sea ice, such as leads and polynyas, plays a crucial role in determining the formation of deep- and bottom-water, as well as their long-term global properties and circulation. Ocean general circulation models (GCMs) designed for studies of the long-term thermohaline circulation have typically coarse resolution, making it inevitable to parameterize subgrid-scale features such as leads and convective plumes. In this study, a hierarchy of higher-resolution sea-ice models is developed to reduce uncertainties due to coarse resolution, while keeping the ocean component at coarse resolution to maintain the efficiency of the GCM to study the long-term deep-ocean properties and circulation. The higher-resolved sea-ice component is restricted to the Southern Ocean. Compared with the coarse sea-ice model, the intermediate, higher-resolution version yields more detailed coastal polynyas, a realistically sharp ice edge, and an overall enhanced lead fraction. The latter gives enhanced rates of Antarctic Bottom Water formation through enhanced near-boundary convection. Sensitivity experiments revealed coastal katabatic winds accounted for in the higher resolution version, are the main reason for producing such an effect. For a more realistic coastline, satellite passive-microwave data for fine-grid land/ice-shelf Ã¢ÂÂ seaice/ ocean boundary were used. With a further enhancement of the resolution of the Southern OceanÃ¢ÂÂs sea-ice component, a grid spacing of 22 km is reached. This is about the size of the pixel resolution of satellite-passive microwave data from which ice concentration is retrieved. This product is used in this study to validate the sea-ice component of the global ocean GCM. The overall performance of the high-resolution sea-ice component is encouraging, particularly the representation of the crucial coastal polynyas. Enhancing the resolution of the convection parameterization reduces spurious coarse-grid polynyas. Constraining the upper-ocean temperature and modifying the plume velocity removes unrealistic small-scale convection within the ice pack. The observed highfrequency variability along the ice edge is to some extent captured by exposing the ice pack to upper-ocean currents that mimic tidal variability. While these measures improve several characteristics of the Southern Ocean sea-ice pack, they deteriorate the global deepocean properties and circulation, calling for further refinements and tuning to arrive at presently observed conditions.
Kim, Joong Tae (2003). Enhancing the resolution of sea ice in long-term global ocean general circulation model (gcm) integrations. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from