The impact of resolving the Rossby radius at mid-latitudes in the ocean: results from a high-resolution version of the Met Office GC2 coupled model

Helene T. Hewitt, Malcolm J. Roberts, Pat Hyder, Tim Graham, Jamie Rae, Stephen E. Belcher, Romain Bourdallé-Badie, Dan Copsey, Andrew Coward, Catherine Guiavarch, Chris Harris, Richard Hill (+11 others)
2016 Geoscientific Model Development  
<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> There is mounting evidence that resolving mesoscale eddies and western boundary currents as well as topographically controlled flows can play an important role in air–sea interaction associated with vertical and lateral transports of heat and salt. Here we describe the development of the Met Office Global Coupled Model version 2 (GC2) with increased resolution relative to the standard model: the ocean resolution is increased from 1/4 to 1/12° (28 to 9<span
more » ... to 9<span class="thinspace"></span>km at the Equator), the atmosphere resolution increased from 60<span class="thinspace"></span>km (N216) to 25<span class="thinspace"></span>km (N512) and the coupling period reduced from 3 hourly to hourly. The technical developments that were required to build a version of the model at higher resolution are described as well as results from a 20-year simulation. The results demonstrate the key role played by the enhanced resolution of the ocean model: reduced sea surface temperature (SST) biases, improved ocean heat transports, deeper and stronger overturning circulation and a stronger Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Our results suggest that the improvements seen here require high resolution in both atmosphere and ocean components as well as high-frequency coupling. These results add to the body of evidence suggesting that ocean resolution is an important consideration when developing coupled models for weather and climate applications.</p>
doi:10.5194/gmd-9-3655-2016 fatcat:ucsex6h7snfx5g6bpzxysgwfmm