Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
University of Colorado, Boulder
in collaboration with G. Danabasoglu, R. Ferrari, and R. Hallberg
On Decadal Variability of the Ocean Gyres
The weak stratification and shallow depth of the ocean surface mixed layer allows for mixed layer eddies (MLEs). These eddies have an important effect in global climate models through their tendency to restratify the mixed layer wherever local density fronts exist. These eddies form a submesoscale turbulent field throughout the world's mixed layers.
I will introduce the MLE-resolving simulations and MLE parameterizations of Fox-Kemper et al. (2008) and Fox-Kemper and Ferrari (2008). I will demonstrate the reduction in model bias using the parameterization in both GFDL and NCAR global models. I will also discuss preliminary extensions of these results into the mesoscale and deep convection cases, where the full water column is considered, not just the mixed layer.